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Benin Obas {1200AD -Present} as compiled by edoworld.net
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1st
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 himslf as a brave man by destroying the man-eating Osogan, was appointed as an adminstrator 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 the throne is always applicables 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 barnished son of the last Ogiso Owodo} who had for some time taken refure at Uhe {or Ife as is now known}. The seach party reached Uhe to meet Ikaladerhan already enjoying the status of a king. The Edo people could not persuade him to reture 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 >>>
2nd
Oba Uwakhuanhen
{About 1235AD-1243AD}

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

3rd
Oba Ehenmihen
{About 1243AD-1255AD}
 
When Uwakhuhen dead his brother Ehenmihen ascended the throne.There were no events of importance during his reign.
4th
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 suport 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 supressing the Uzamas and miraculously,he did not only succeed in doing so but eventually surpressed 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 >>>
5th
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 defence systems around their communities.This has given rise to twenty of such moats around Benin City and its environs.He encouraged the systematic organisation of the ancient guild of brass casting which was declinging.

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

 

6th
Oba Edoni
{About1295AD-1299AD}
Oba Oguola was succeeded by Edoni whose reign was uneventful.
7th
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 were the early Edos who settled in that part of the world.
8th
Oba Ohen
{About1334AD-1370AD}
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.
9th
Oba Ogbeka
{About 1370AD- 1400AD}
 
It was during his reign the urhobos migrated from Benin kingdom.
10th
Oba Orobiru
{About 1400AD- 1430AD}
There were no events of importance during his reign.
11th
Oba Uwaifiokun
{About1430AD-1440AD}
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. as compiled by edoworld.net
12th
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 honoured   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 >>>

13th
Oba Ezoti
{About 1473AD1473AD}
 
He reigned for only fourteen days having passed away as a resuIt 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 crown 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}.
14th
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 form 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 >>>

15th
Oba Ozolua
{About1481AD-1504AD}

After the death of Olua with out a clear successor.Prince Okpame who would have succeeded to the throne was in exile at Ora. There was struggles for control among the powerful chiefs for three agonising 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.

Finally ascended the throne, with the title Oba Ozolua.

With the City in serious disarry.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 >>>

16th
Oba Esigie
{About1504-1550AD}

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 >>>

17th
Oba Orhogbua
{ABout1550AD-1578AD}

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 monrchical 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 surjourn in Lagos and Badagry, some parts of the Easter Empire were in a rebellious state which was quickly surpressed by the war general, Ezomo Agban who was despatched 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

18th
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 who 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.

19th
Oba Ohuan
{About1606AD-1641AD}
prince Odogbo ascended the throne with the title Oba Ohuan. He die childless.
20th
Oba Ahenzae
{About1641AD-1661AD}

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

21st
Oba Akenzae
{About 1661AD-1669AD}
There were no events of importance during his reign.
22nd
Oba Akengboi
{About 1669AD-1675AD}
There were no events of importance during his reign.
23rd
Oba Akenkpaye
{Abou1675AD-1684AD}
His rebellious chiefs, for abuse of power, corruption,and selfishness, dethroned him.
24th
Oba Akengbodo
{About 1684AD-1689AD}
There were no events of importance during his reign.
25th
Oba Oroghene
{About1689AD-1700AD}
He received a message from pope Innocent XII encouraging him and his subjects to continue to keep to the Christian faith.
26th
Oba Ewuakpe
{About1700AD-1712AD}
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 set backs 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 beholve on queen Full Story >>>

27th
Oba Ozuere
{About1712AD-1713AD}

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 pass 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.

28th
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.

 

29th
Oba Eresoyen
{About 1735 AD-1750AD}
Benin kingdom continue 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].
30th
Oba Akengbuda
{About1750AD-1804AD}
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. 

31st
Oba Obanosa
{About 1804AD-1816AD}
There were no events of importance during his reign.  
32nd
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.

33rd
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 revenged 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 >>>

34th
Oba Adolo
{About 1848AD-1888AD}
Historical records says he was kind-hearted, generous, rich,industrious, and respected by his subjects.
35th
Oba Ovoranmwen
{1888AD-1914AD}
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 capture 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 >>>

36th
Oba Eweka II
{1914AD-1932AD}
The advent of the British brought much disaster to the throne of Benin and hope was almost lost as to whether Benin would ever have its Obaship again. The British conguered Benin exiled its monarch to calabar. During this traumatic period, Chief Obaseki worked with the British to rule Benin. Benin lost its grandeur and the monarchy almost became extinct. In 1914, at the demise of the exiled king Ovonramwen, the monarchy was restored when prince Aiguobasimwin Ovoranmwen was crowned Oba of Benin with the title Eweka II on 24th July, 1914. The colonial rule with its indirect rule by Lord Lugard altered a lot of things.

Eweka II was the first post - Imperial Benin Monarch. He took the oath of allegiance to the British imperial king. The first time in Benin history, a Benin monarch took an oath of allegiance to another king.

Before his ascension to the throne, Oba Eweka II was a skillful brass smith and an expert in ivory and woodcarving.  Full Story >>>

37th
Oba Akenzua II
{1932AD-1978AD}
Born in 1899 in Benin City, as crown Prince Godfry Edokparhogbuyunmwun basimi. Ascended the Benin throne on April 5th, 1933 with the title Oba Akenzua II.

Before his ascension to the throne, he attented king's college lagos.

Oba Akenzua struck a balance of stability and progress tradition and modernity. He was a father-figure to all. For his dimensional contributions to the development of his people and Nigeria, Oba Akenzua II received such  honours as  Justice of Peace, Knight of the Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a honourary doctorate degree from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

was equally a notable royal monarch of Benin kingdom. He initiated the campaign for the creation of Mid-West Region which materialized in 1962. in 1947, he opened the Benin Divisional council Museum seen as the mustard art seed that later inspired the germination of the giant oak tree that Full Story >>>
38th
Oba Erediauwa
{1978AD-present}
Crown prince Solomon Akenzua ascended the throne with the title Oba Erediauwa. Born June 22, 1923 in Benin City as Solomon Igbinoghodua Aisiokuoba Akenzua. Before his ascension to throne he attended, many schools and Cambridge University London. He also held many governmental post at state and federal levels.

He modernized the palace courtyard and created many Enigie to help administer various parts of the kingdom.

One of the most respected Africa monarch. An author, writer, advocate of peace and co-existance. His high educational background help being to light the correct history of  Edo people and the ancient Benin Empire, one of Africa oldest kingdom.

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