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Benin Obas {1200AD -Present} as compiled by
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Oba Eweka I & the beginning of Oba Era
{About 1200AD-1235AD}

After the banishment of Owodo; the last Ogiso under the {Ogiso periods} for misrule Evain who had earlier distinguished himself as a brave man by destroying the man-eating Osogan, was appointed as an administrator who ruled Benin for nearly 40 years. At his old age, Evian nominated his son Ogiamien as a successor. Unfortunately, this nomination did not go well with the Edo people who maintained that succession to the throne is always applicable to kings and not to commoners to which class Evian belonged. Spear headed by Oliha, there was a serious agitation to bring back the monarch. The nation was thrown into a state of internecine war and as a way out the elders {led by Oliha} went on a search party to look for Ikaladerhan {the banished son of the last Ogiso Owodo} who had for some time taken refuse at Uhe {or Ife as is now known}. The search party reached Uhe to meet Ikaladerhan already enjoying the status of a king. The Edo people could not persuade him to return home. Nevertheless, Ikaladerhan now known as Ododuwa agreed to send his son if only the Benin could take care of him.

This is how Ododuwa sent his son Oromiyan to Benin. To Full Story >>>
Oba Uwakhuanhen
{About 1235AD-1243AD}

When Eweka I dead his son Oba Uwakhuahen ascended the throne .His reign was uneventful

Oba Ehenmihen
{About 1243AD-1255AD}

When Uwakhuhen dead, his brother Ehenmihen ascended the throne. There were no events of importance during his reign.    

Oba Ewedo
{About 1255AD-1280AD}

Prince Efabo ascended the throne after the death of his father with the title Oba Ewedo. Seen by historians as the second greatest monarch to reign in Benin kingdom. 

It must be observed that the three first Obas - Eweka I, Uwakhuanhen and Ehenmihen had their political support from the elders {Edion who later became known as Uzama} Oba Ewedo discontented with the rudely behaviors of the Edionisen {five Elders} uzama he called them ‘Emwan nei zama omwan’ meaning people who don't show respect to their Oba this was later corrupted into Uzama. This is not surprising because they brought Oromiyan from Uhe [IIe Ife]. These Edion more or less treated the monarchy as primus inter pares which position Oba Ewedo therefore embarked upon a risky job of suppressing the Uzamas and miraculously, he did not only succeed in doing so but eventually surprised Ogiamien who was virtually in control of the City State.

The final settlement came at the battle of "Ekiokpagha" which the Oba fought with Ogiamien who was defeated Full Story >>>

Oba Oguola
{About 1280AD-1295AD}

The successor to Ewedo would have been prince Obuobu who was engaged in endless wars in Ibo land. In his absence, his brother was crowned with the title Oba Oguola.

Oba Oguola dug the first and second moats to fortify the city from invaders from Udo. He further decreed that important towns and villages should build similar moats as defense systems around their communities. This has given rise to twenty of such moats around Benin City and its environs. He encouraged the systematic organization of the ancient guild of brass casting which was declining.

The war menace from Akpanigiakon of Udo was ended when the Oba defeated his foe at the battle of Urhezen about the year 1285. 


Oba Edoni
Oba Oguola was succeeded by Edoni whose reign was uneventful.



Oba Udagbedo
{ About1299AD-1334AD}

Udagbedo ascended the throne after the death of his brother Edoni. Udagbedo was industrious brave and kind-hearted, encouraged agriculture. During his reign Benin kingdom extended its colonial rule to the present day Ghana. The ethnic group known as GA in Ghana was the early Edos who settled in that part of the world. 


Oba Ohen
Ohen ascended the throne after the death of his brother. Oba Udagbedo. Paralyzed 25 years after ascending the .He was stoned to death by his chiefs for ordering the murder of his Iyase for spying on his deformity.
Oba Ogbeka
{About 1370AD- 1400AD}
It was during his reign the Urhobos migrated from Benin kingdom.
Oba Orobiru
{About 1400AD- 1430AD}
There were no events of importance during his reign.
Oba Uwaifiokun

He usurped the throne of Benin kingdom in place of his senior brother prince Ogun who was the heir apparent. His exiled senior brother prince Ogun paid many secret and nocturnal visits to Benin through Oba’s market. On many occasions, Emotan warned Ogun of impending dangers and advised him against interacting with some treacherous chiefs who may reveal his presence.
Prince Ogun succeeded in murdering Uwaifiokun during night ceremonial performance at Oba’s market.

Oba Ewuare the Great
{About 1440AD-1473AD}

Seen by historians as the greatest, the most revered, dynamic, innovative and successful monarch to have reign in Benin kingdom. He completely transformed the Benin kingdom, politically, socially, and religiously.

Under his reign Benin kingdom witnesses its highest prosperity. He changed the kingdom's name from Ibinu land to Edo land as a reward to a young man called Edo who served his life.

He also honored  Emoton for her pivotal role played in serving his live from glaring dangers during his exile years. When Emotan died he ordered that the sacred Uruhe tree be planted at the spot where Emotan used to display her goods in Oba market. 

Oba Ewuare is remembered for many things. First contact with any European was made by Oba Ewuare when Ruy De Sequeira visited Benin City in 1472. In his time ivory carving was encouraged. A name like Eghoghomagha can still be remembered as one of the greatest carvers in Benin Full Story >>>

Oba Ezoti
{About 1473AD1473AD}

He reigned for only fourteen days having passed away as a result of the injury he sustained from a poisoned arrow fired by a boy, assassin during his coronation. After his death, prince Okpame his younger brother was sent to Esi, a town outside Benin City to being Owere the heir apparent to be crowned the Oba. On their way to Benin City Okpame murdered Owere and his mother then lies to the Benin elders that they both die of natural causes, when the truth became open Okpame was banished. He fled to a place call Ora {north of Benin City}.

Oba Olua
{About 1473AD-1480AD}

Olua was the second son of Oba Ewuare at first refused the crown for, fear of his banished brother prince Okpame who fled to Ora.

His sister princess Edeloyo was then asks to ascend the throne. She received the title of Edaiken, a title given to all heirs apparent before their ascension to the throne. She fell sick, as a result of this, the Uzamas (king makers) and Eghaevbo (executive council) enacted a law permanently prohibiting women from becoming king in Ancient Benin Kingdom.

Olua was eventually crowned the Oba of Benin after much persuasion from the Benin elders. He sent one of his sons to Eho [a town outside Benin City] to keep an eye on the movement of prince Okpame.Olua’s son eventually became the Ogia of Eho.

Historical account says Oba Olua was kind and generous. Concerned about his unpopular son Iginua among the Benin Elders and the Full Story >>>

Oba Ozolua

After the death of Olua without a clear successor.Prince Okpame who would have succeeded to the throne was in exile at Ora. There were struggles for control among the powerful chiefs for three agonizing years .They set up a republican administration. Without a formidable leader at the herm of the affair to maintain law and order, those placed in various levels of authority, were weak and incapable. Benin kingdom became totally disorganized and vulnerable to enemy attack. This compelled the Benin elders to call on prince Okpame, in Ora to come back to Benin and ascends to his ancestral throne and save his fatherland.He rejected the offer. The Benin Elders were able to convince him to accept the crown.

He finally ascended the throne, with the title Oba Ozolua.

With the City in serious disarray, he therefore embarked on consolidation of the City State His first task was to launch a full-scale war to subdue the secessionist, He conquered many towns and village notable  Full Story >>>

Oba Esigie

Prince Osawe ascended the throne with the title Oba Esigie. After the power struggle between him and his brother Arhuanran  {Goliath type stature} the powerful ruler of Udo town some kilometers outside Benin City.

Concerned about the transgression by his brother Aruanran against his monarchial authority launch a full-scale war on Udo one of the bloodiest war in Benin history the battle was fought and won by Oba Esigie.
Arhuanran drowned himself in Lake Odighi N’Udo.

Chief Osemwughe the Iyase of Udo took arm again, against the monarchial authority to avenge the defeat and the death of Arhuanran.

Oba Esigie launch a war on Udo once again .Udo was destroyed chief Osemwughe and his rebel armies fled. West of Benin kingdom now part of Yoruba land.
Oba Esigie determined to put an end to Udo rebellion once Full Story >>>

Oba Orhogbua

Before he ascends the throne, he was educated under the Portuguese educational system. The reign of Oba Orhogbua is marked with the expansion of the Empire westwards. Thus Eko {Lagos} and Badagry were founded. He established the monarchical rule in those places and placed his own representatives to rule them. He established the first Oba of Lagos. it is said that during the oba's long sojourn in Lagos and Badagry, some parts of the Eastern Empire were in a rebellious state which was quickly surprised by the war general, Ezomo Agban who was dispatched to Agbor in 1577.

The appearance of British explorers like Windham {1553 in this part of the world took place during Orhogbua's period.

He introduced the European type cooking salt to Benin kingdom



Oba Ehengbuda
{About 1578AD-1606AD}

Oba Ehengbuda was the first Oba to be visited by English explorers while on the throne. During his reign, he nurtured the martial growth of Chief Ezomo Agban a celebrated warrior, who led Benin army to conquer Agbor. In his days the chief reportedly thought a troublesome man lived overhead in the sky that disturbed the peace of Benin Kingdom each time the rainy clouds rumbled. Because of this belief the non-nonsense Benin war general was said to have embarked on building a ladder up to the sky to take on the “troublesome man” in a bloody contest before he passed on.

The boundary of Benin Empire and Oyo Empire was set at Otun Ekiti during his reign after many wars was fought between the two Empires.




Oba Ohuan
prince Odogbo ascended the throne with the title Oba Ohuan. He die childless.
Oba Ahenzae

Since Ohuan die childless and without a successor. Eweka I lineage ended.  
Benin kingdom was in a renewed turmoil and nightmare ones again there was struggle for power and control among various factional chiefs; they crowned someone from their camp as monarch under rotation system among the different branch of the royal family for six reigns this practices produced series of weak monarchs whom legitimacy were  questionable and left the kingdom ones again vulnerable.

Akenzae was sixteen years when he ascends the throne under this system.

During his reign many of the kingdom’s treasures were wasted and gambled away

Oba Akenzae
{About 1661AD-1669AD}
There were no events of importance during his reign.
Oba Akengboi
{About 1669AD-1675AD}
There were no events of importance during his reign.
Oba Akenkpaye
His rebellious chiefs, for abuse of power, corruption, and selfishness, dethroned him.
Oba Akengbodo
{About 1684AD-1689AD}
There were no events of importance during his reign.




Oba Oroghene
He received a message from pope Innocent XII encouraging him and his subjects to continue to keep to the Christian faith.



Oba Ewuakpe

Prince Idova ascended the throne with the title Oba Ewuakpe in about 1700 A.D. and was the 26th monarch of the hereditary title of Benin dynasty. He reigned for about 12 years which was characterized with series of setbacks during the early period to the extent that all subjects in the kingdom revolted against him.

The fundamental cause of grouse was to protest against the monarch high handedness and his flagrant disrespect of human lives which culminated in the mass killing of his subjects at Uselu during the funeral of his demised mother Queen Ewebonoza in about 17.15 A.D. when it became apparent that the elders and the citizens of the Kingdom could no longer accommodate the excesses of the King they were compelled to sever their disreputable connections. This uprising also affected all his wives (Iloi) the royal slaves (ovien) and other palace attendants.

In-view of this misdemeanor it would behoove on queen Full Story >>>

Oba Ozuere

Ozuere was the second son of Oba Ewuakpe. He usurped the throne with the help of some chiefs in place of his senior brother Akunzua I in contrary to the law made by Oba Ewuakpe and approved and passes by Eghaevbo [executive council] and Uzama Nihinron [the seven kingmakers] that says only the eldest son of the Oba should ascent the throne.
On the other hand, some very powerful chiefs were prepared to uphold and defend the laws of the land at all cost, questioned Ozuere legitimacy to the throne. 

A civil war break out in Benin kingdom, it lasted for many weeks. Ozuere Was eventually defeated and dethroned. His reign lasted for just a year.

Oba Akenzua I
{About 1713AD- 1735AD}

Akenzua abstention to the throne followed the defeat and dethroned of Oba Ozuereo his younger brother. Widely viewed as the beginning of the second Obaship periods.
Historical record says he was one of the richest monarchs who reign in Benin kingdom. He was nicknamed Akenzua Nisonorho {Akenzua the rainy sky}

He was the father of Ogie of Avbiama and Obi of Isele-Uku.
During his reign Benin Kingdom witness a period of peace and prosperity.



Oba Eresoyen
{About 1735 AD-1750AD}

Benin kingdom continues to grow in prosperity during his reign. He introduced banking system called Owigho [House of money].

Eresoyen also introduced Ododua masquerade, the ivory flutes [Akahen].

Oba Akengbuda
During his reign, the royal army launched a war against Oboro-uku a kingdom within Benin Empire, as a revenge for the murdered of Adesuwa the daughter of chief Ezomo by its Obi. He murdered Adesuwa for refusing to marry him.  

When the news of her murder reach  the Oba  he quickly sent royal  troops Under the commands of Imaran,Adiagbon, and Emokpaogbe Agboghidi Enogie] of Ugo. Oboro-uku was captured; its Obi who murdered Adesuwa was trialed and beheaded.

The Oba for their braveness  rewarded the troops and their generals. Emokpaogbe the Aboghidi of Ugo dissatisfied with his rewards engaged in a rebellious act toward the  royal authority. The Oba at first ignore him due to the part he played  during  the war with Oboro-Uku as if that was not enough, Emokpaogbe turned his war machine  against the royal authority.
When Emokpaogbe rebellious acts continue to transgress the monarchical establishment, the Oba sent royal troops lead by Ologbose and Imaran to Ugo to quash the rebellion. Ugo was captured Aboghidi drowned himself in Igbaghon River before he could be arrested by the royal troop. 

Oba Obanosa
{About 1804AD-1816AD}
There were no events of importance during his reign.  


Oba Ogbebo
{About 1816AD-1816AD}

He usurped the throne of Benin Empire in place of his senior brother Eredia-uwa after defeating the army of Eredia-uwa in the civil war with the help of his mother and some powerful chiefs. To avoid being killed Eredia-uwa fled to Evbokhimmwi in Ishan a town, north of the kingdom.Eredia-uwa eventually regained his right place to the throne of Benin with the backing of Enigie of Ishan, Erebo the Ezomo of Uzebu and the people of Uselu fought and won the battle against Ogbebo and his backers; Eyan and Eboide.
His reign lasted for just 8 months.

Oba Osemwende
{About 1816AD-1848}

Prince Eredia -uwa was crowned the Oba of Benin kingdom with the title Oba Osemwende after the defeat of Oba Ogbebo.
He ordered the Akure punitive expedition of [1818AD] to revenge the murdered of Osague the Benin empire goodwill ambassador to Akure who was murdered with the order of Arakale the Udezi of Akure. When the news of his killing reach Benin City battalions of royal troops, under the general command of Ezomo Erebo assisted by Ologboshere and Imaran were sent.
Akure was captured, but Arakale manage to escape to Ado for help, he was expelled by Ewi of Ado for fear of Benin royal troop invasion. Arakale fled from Ado to Uju from Uju to Uhen there he was finally handed over by Arinjale of Uhen to Ezomo.   

Arakale was later trialed and executed.Osemwende also conquered Ekiti kingdom.

In 1840 Osodin{Okunbo} accompanied by Ehennua and Arhunmwunde were despatched to Lagos to demand from Eleko of Eko the..... Full Story >>>




Oba Adolor
{About 1848AD-1888AD}

Historical records say he was kind-hearted, generous, rich, industrious, and respected by his subjects.


Oba Ovoranmwen

The Benin Empire fell to the British force during the Benin punitive expedition of 1897 during his reign.
Captain Phillip and his party started a trade mission to Benin City in January 1897, when the Oba and his subjects were celebrating the annual Igue festival a period when outside visitors were not welcome. They were encouraged to postpone their visit for two months but they refused. The parties were massacred however, some of them managed to escape. This event is referred to generally as the Benin massacre.

February 1897 the British forces launched an attack on Benin City; it was finally captured after 8 days of fighting.
The kingdom was destroyed and looted of it many valuable artifacts, Ologbohere the alleged masterminded of the massacre of Captain Phillip and his party was trialed and hanged. Oba Ovoranmwen was dethrones, and deported to calabar where he lives and dead on the month of January 1914 after sixteen years of British captivity. Buried at old calabar by official of colonial... Full Story >>>

Oba Eweka II

Prince Aiguobasinwin Ovonramwen (Eweka II) was born by Queen Eghaghe who hailed from Uvbe Village In Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo state. She was of Egbede family. Her mother was the daughter of Chief Evbuomwan, the Enogie of Abavo. Her father was Osenugha of Isi. She passed away peacefully on 18th February, 1933 after the passing away of her son Eweka II. She was buried by her gran-son Oba Akenzua II.

Oba Eweka was a bold and courageous person which earned him the appellation of Ovbiodu. He rebuilds the present palace after the ruin of the old palace after the Benin Expedition war of 1897, hence the appellation of ‘Eweka N’ Ologbe’. The term became so appropriate in that it was Oba Eweka I who started the second dynasty after the deposition of the last Ogiso and the coming of Oronmiyam, a grand- son of Ogiso Owodo from Ife where his father was on exile after being expelled from Benin through the evil machination of Esagho, the wife of Ogiso Owodo.   Full Story >>>

Oba Akenzua II
Prince Godfrey Edokpa- Orhogbuyunmwun Aiguobasinmwin Eweka was born on the 5th of April, 1899 at Irhirhi village in the late Orhumwense’s house. He was heir presumptive to the crown prince (heir Apparent) to the throne of Benin at a time that tried the soul of the Edos as their King’s life was hanging on the balance. His grand-father, Ovonramwen, the last independent King of Benin was deposed and deported to calabar after the war of 1897 on 13th September 1897.

He was the only child of his mother, Queen Ariowa as the Benin custom did not permit a second birth to the mother of a would-be King. This is seen in the adage that “Omo Kpa r’ Ekpen bie”. His mother hailed from Evbodobian village in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. She did not live to see her son enthroned in 1933 as she passed away in 1926 but her body was embalmed at Evborubu village,according to custom until she was officially
buried after the accession of her son as Oba of Benin in 1935. She was then proclaimed “IYOBA” (Oba’s Mother) The son built a house and raised monument to her memory at the entrance to Eguae-Iyoba. He also built a house at her Full Story >>>
Oba Erediauwa
When the young prince was born June 22,1923 . His father Oba Akenzua II presented the new baby to his father Eweka II, who lifted the baby up and smiled. "You Agho! Chief Agho Ogbedeoyo, the Obaseki Of Benin, who had acted as the Oba during the interregnum, 1897-1914. ,You again, you have passed through this route. You have reincarnated to become an Oba. An Oba indeed". Eweka proclaimed him an Oba: you will be Solomon - wise as King Solomon. The Lord will be your pillar and strength - (Igbinoghodua) but nobody should dare cause or invite your wrath - (Aiseokhuoba). As a young Prince and heir apparent Oba Erediauwa was known as Prince Solomon, Aiseokhuoba, Igbinoghodua Akenzua until he was crowned Oba on March 23, 1979. Never by the use of those names be identified except by the title, Omo N'Oba Erediauwa, Oba of Benin. Those circumstantial names are now archival materials. Reincarnation is in the beliefs of the Binis. This can happen in any circumstance depending on the life aspiration of the deceased whose prayers might be answered if he so desired to become a King in his next world. Although this is beyond human comprehension, nevertheless, the traditional belief is that a man may have an opportunity to reincarnate for as much as seven times after which he fizzles out. By this belief, Prince Solomon is a reincarnation of the Full Story >>>
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