By SIMON EBEGBULEM, Benin City
THE Celebration marking the coronation of the new Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11, which started on Thursday continues today with durbar festival which the Sultan of Sokoto, his Eminence Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar 111 brought to Benin in honour of the new Oba.
Also, different dance groups and traditional groups including the Ekassa dance group, that only appear during the crowning of any Oba, remained at the palace yesterday performing their spiritual dance. Similarly, wealthy Benin sons and daughters continued to hold parties in their various homes while traditional rulers both from Edo and outside the state have been paying homage to Oba Ewuare II.
Meanwhile, Onojie of Opoji and Vice Chairman, Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, His Royal Highness (HRH), Ehidiamen Aidonojie 1, has said that the Benin Kingdom is lucky to have an Oba who is a diplomat, administrator and widely travelled
He disclosed that the new Oba never ate outside as Crown Prince without the permission of his late father.
His words: “This is a ceremony that comes once in our life time, sometimes you can witness it twice if you are lucky. You can see the first class traditional rulers in Nigeria present. It brought us back to history that the Oba of Benin is a first class African King. And of course we are happy to have an Oba who is widely travelled, a diplomat, administrator with vast experience, we are really lucky.
“I have known him since the 70s, he has always been calm and has never been proud even as heir apparent. I was close to late Oba Erediauwa, his father trained him properly to ascend the throne. He was prepared for this job. He is somebody who never failed to take instructions from his father. I remember an occasion when I travelled with him to Lagos, on his way to Angola, we visited one Chief Ainabe, and the man hosted us to a dinner.
“The Crown Prince said it was very unusual for him to eat outside, he had to call his father in Benin to tell him that Chief Ainabe had prepared dinner for us and his father gave him the go ahead to take the dinner. In other words every step he took, he must take clearance from his father. I was very surprised, how a Crown Prince as an adult had to call his father for permission to eat. And that was how his father brought him up right from secondary school.
“He has never disobeyed his father. So Edo state and the Benin Kingdom in particular are aware they have a full blooded Oba. He is not proud, he is simple, he has a very Godly heart”.
He added that members of the Edo state Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs were expecting Governor Adams Oshiomhole to convene a meeting where their chairman, Oba Ewuare 11 will be unveiled, the royal father saying “ the coming of Oba Ewuare 11 will bring progress to Edo state and Nigeria as a whole.
“For the first time, since coronations of Oba of Benin, this is the most colourful. You can see the Queen sent the British High Commissioner to attend, Sweden, Italy, Angola and many other countries all sent representatives. When it comes to assisting people, he goes beyond his kingdom, so God has blessed us with a great Oba.
“ Ewuare was a great Oba and I am sure this one will be greater. Everybody prays for him. We have an Oba coming in on his birthday and in the next few weeks we will have a new governor coming, so we have lots of good things coming to the kingdom. But the incumbent governor, Oshiomhole will surely be missed because no governor has given the Oba his due respect more than Oshiomhole. He made sure that the Oba’s security allowance was given to him as at when due.
“Whereas we had a governor before who was denying the Oba his entitlements, you can see that after Oshiomhole gave him the staff of office he knelt down to pay his respect. And I know that Godwin Obaseki will do the same or even do more as a Benin man” he stated.