Prohibition on burial ceremonies still in force, Benin Palace warns

Prohibition on burial ceremonies still in force, Benin Palace warns

Friday, October 28, 2016 12:52 pm



Jethro Ibileke/Benin

The Benin Traditional Council has said that the prohibition of funeral activities in Seven Local Government Areas of Edo State, for the post-coronation ceremonies of Oba Ewuare II, still remain in force till the end of the year.

‎According to Benin tradition and custom, no burial rites and ceremonies are to be held while coronation activities of the Oba of the Kingdom lasts.

The Council in a statement signed by its Secretary, Frank Irabor, explained that the post-coronation ceremonies was still ongoing, with the Ekasa (spiritual) dance, and would last till December 31.

“Consequently, prohibition of funeral activities is still in place during the period of Ekasa ‎performance,” the statement said.

It would be recalled that a family in Isi village, Uhunmwode local government area of Edo state who allegedly held a burial ceremony of their late father while the coronation activities of the new Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has incurred the wrath of the ancestors and the new Oba.

Some members of the family are presently being held at the premises of the Benin palace.

It would also be recalled that announcements were made by the Benin palace before the commencement of the coronation activities of Oba Ewuare II, prohibiting all burial activities till further notice.

It was gathered that Chiefs from the Benin palace stormed Iguodala Primary School, venue of the social dance for the deceased and tied ‘Umehe’ leaves (palm fonts) on the foods, drinks and canopies, a message of no trespass from the Oba.

Also, some members of the family were promptly arrested and taken to the palace, while the musician hired to entertain the guests who was said to have claimed that he was informed by the family that some Chiefs at the palace gave the family the permission to carry out the burial, was sternly warned to pack his musical equipment and leave, after pleading with the Chiefs.

One of the family members who gave her name as Josephine Ehimwenma, said she was not aware the prohibition on burial ceremonies was still in place, adding that they were told by some Chiefs at the palace to go on with the burial arrangements since the actual coronation has been concluded.

“Three days ago, I reached the palace and I met some Chiefs and told them that I have buried my father that I just want to entertain friends and well-wishers. They said I should go ahead and demanded for ‘chop money.’ I gave them N500,” she said.

A member of the Iwebo Palace society, Chief Sunday Okhiokpamwonyi, told journalists that fines would be imposed with the family and and the burial postponed.

Also, a source at the Benin Palace said the family were asked to buy some sacrificial items to cleanse the land.

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