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Origin Of Edaiken Of Uselu

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(Last update 09/10/2017
Benin Crown Prince

THE crown Prince of Benin Kingdom is the Edayi N’lken N’Uselu meaning the Duke of Uselu. The title is held by the crown Prince of Benin Kingdom who is by virtue of traditional rights the heir apparent to the Royal throne of Benin Kingdom and a member of the (Uzama) the seven kingmakers. The commencement of this title is traced to the reign of Oba Ewuare the Great who conquered over 200 towns in West Africa.

Oba Ewuare sent Iken the great warrior to lead fight against Owo, he was a fighter who fought many wars successfully. Unfortunately he knew how to win wars but never knew how to escape or return from battles. He won the Owo battle and asked his troops to return to Benin with the captives but he foolishly fell in love with a beautiful Owo lady who quickly capitalized on his weakness. He was tricked to remain in Owo where he was killed after a tough fight.

Kuoboyuwa, the first son of Oba Ewuare became the first Edayi N’Iken N’Uselu a few months later. Oba Ewuare’s second son was made Ozie lyowa, the Duke of Iyowa.

During the reign of Oba N’Osa, a directive was given by the Oba in the 18 century that tribute should be paid by Utte people a district in Owo to the Edayi N’lken N’Uselu. This continued until the British government came.

In Benin traditional heritage and cultural values, every son of the Oba is traditionally referred to as Okoro (Prince) and hís daughters Uvbi (Princess). In order to distinguish the eldest son from the rest of the Okoros or Princes he is appellated Oko. In his adolescence he was placed under the guardianship of Osuan at Oko, along Airport Road today. He stayed here until he grows into maturity to live in his own house at Ogboka, Benin Sapele Road and Utantan Road. When the time is due he is initiated into the lwebo society as Uko N’Iwebo by Uwangue of Benin. Few weeks later he visits shrines around Benin. He visits Uwen and Ora Shrines jointly referred to as Ebor N’Edo. These shrines are Aruo-Otor Ogbe Otor Alaka, lsienmwenro, OgbeLaka, Oto N. Odo, Aro Iyaton etc.

He is later bestowed the title of Edaiken of Uselu and given a royal ceremonial procession. He performs all rites and sacrifices at various shrines on his way to Uselu precisely to Eguae Edaikan. As soon as he arrives lya-Ekoha he performs the rites and at the boundary between Benin and Uselu the palace chiefs having joined him in performing all rites hands him over to Uselu Palace chiefs saying “we hand him over to you safe and sound and you must reciprocate”.

After all the rites are accomplished the royal procession continues to Edaiken Palace or Equae- Edaiken with pomp and ceremony while the Benin Palace Chiefs return to Benin. Edaiken stays few days and returned to Benin officially and bestowed with Eyanhien title at the palace of (he Oba of Benin. After this, he returns to Uselu in a Royal procession and continues to preside over the issues and people of Uselu in accordance with the tradition of Benin.

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