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Friday, October 21, 2016

I'm not the 39th OBA

 Governor Oshiomhole, who presented the staff of office to the new Oba, recalled his relationship with late Oba Erediauwa who he described as a father who will be missed by all.
According to him: “Oba Erediauwa will be remembered as a King who intervened in the state government’s effort to develop the state particularly the six lane Airport Road where he directed the state House of Assembly to give their support so that the project will be a reality.
          That intervention by the late Oba made a difference. And we are lucky that the new Oba was mentored by his father and this quality he has displayed as Edaiken N’Uselu. He served as ambassador to several nations and we pray to God and our ancestors to give him the wisdom to govern his people.
“I have benefited enormously from your wisdom even before I became governor and I join millions of Nigerians and others who came from far and near to congratulate you and we pray to God and our ancestors to grant you the wisdom you need to succeed as Oba of this great Kingdom.
           Addressing the crowd, Oba Ewuare II, who urged the crowd to observe a minute’s silence in honour of his late parents, admitted that as heir apparent to the throne, he benefited immensely from his father’s wisdom. He also announced that his mother should henceforth be addressed as Queen Mother, for which he said a ceremony will be announced later.
           “During my father’s reign, the palace was a home for all despite your religious or ethnic background, for all who needed guidance and assistance.
Traditional rulers from far and near consulted him on several issues and he ensured that he advised them accordingly. He was a good father to all of us all. As the custodian of our culture and tradition, he was open to new ideas and respected new innovations,” he recalled.
Oba Ewuare II, who explained why he should be regarded as the 40th Oba of Benin contrary to the belief that he is the 39th Oba, said: “There may be some divergent views about the origin of some of our ancestors but there is unanimity in the shared heritage between the people of Benin and Ile-Ife in identifying Oduduwa as a forebear of kingship in parts of Africa and Nigeria of today.
             “Historians all agreed that Oduduwa sent his son Oranmiyan as requested by elders of Benin to return with them as ruler of their realm. Oranmiyan stayed in Benin, but his stay was short. But by the time he left he had a son known today as Eweka I. Oranmiyan’s time in Benin was however short-lived, he was an Oba. So he was the first Oba after the Ogiso dynasty, he established Obaship in Benin.
Therefore the listing of past Obas should start from Oranmiyan. This actually made my late father the 39th Oba of Benin while I am the 40th Oba of Benin.”
The new Oba said he will pay due attention to security and well being of the people.
               “We shall strive to ensure equity and justice, use cultural diplomacy as a vehicle to maintain relationship with our neighbours. We will ensure our people use Benin language as a vehicle of communication and also teach our children the language.’’
He further appealed to Benin people to uphold their tradition and culture at all times just as he appealed to the state government to include the teaching of Bini language and history in the school curriculum.
He expressed concern over the level poverty in the grassroots, which he traced to lack of employment opportunities for the youths and appealed to government at all levels to change the trend. The Oba who unveiled his royal crest also established Oba Erediauwa annual lecture series worth N10million as price for well researched material in Benin history and language.

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