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Reasons Not To Disrespect The Oba Of Benin

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By Desmond Agbama

BENIN CITY- The Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba of Benin is the paramount traditional ruler in Edo State. The Oba of Benin remains the permanent chairman of the Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs.

This position was vested on the Oba permanently, in recognition of the fact that the Oba of Benin is both Spiritual and Administrative Head of Traditional Institutions in Benin Kingdom in particular and Edo State in general.

In Benin Kingdom, there is only one Monarch that is, the Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, the Oba of Benin. There are Enigie, Igie-Ohen, Edionwere and Ikao who are either dukes or heads of the various villages in Benin Kingdom. All of them are under the authority of the Oba of Benin Kingdom.

The Enigie, Igie-Ohen, Ikao, Chiefs and Edionwere in Benin Kingdom pay obeisance to the Oba of Benin, and they revered the Monarch to the highest level.. All sons and daughters of Benin extraction irrespective of social, economic and political status in the society are under obligation to respect, dignify and pay unalloyed homage to the Oba.

The reason why this is so is not far-fetched. Historically, the Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, is God’s representative on earth, which means that the Oba is both a traditional ruler and spiritual leader of the people.
That of course explains why anyone coming into the presence of the Oba, especially when the Oba is on the throne, must greet the Oba in the most acceptable manner as prescribed by Benin custom and tradition. For instance, it is the tradition that everyone must kneel down to greet and address the Oba of Benin by chanting “Oba ghato kpere ise” meaning “Long may you reign our King, Amen”. There is no exception to this rule, except with some other Royal majesties across the world. Even members of the Royal family greet and respect the Oba in the same manner.

Furthermore, culture and tradition are the ways and beliefs of the people, and it is the way a particular tribe, race or ethnic group is known, it represents their identity, and symbol of unity. The Oba of Benin is the custodian of the rich culture and tradition of Benin people. In other words, the Oba of Benin helps to promote, propagate, and preserve the culture and tradition of the people of the Kingdom.

On the other hand, the people in turn protect the image of the Oba of Benin and preserve the sanctity of the Palace and the revered throne of the Monarch at all times. Any attempt for anyone or group of persons to disrespect the Oba is viewed as sacrilegious and abomination which is forbidden and highly detestable by the people, while such a person or persons will be regarded as “Okhion-Oba” that is, an enemy of the Oba. Such an individual usually incur the wrath of the ancestors.

Since the coronation of the 40th Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, Ogidigan, a lot of transformation have taken place in the traditional administration of Benin Kingdom, which has brought sanity to many villages and towns in the Kingdom. For instance, the abolition of the Community Development Association (CDA), which hitherto prevented people from acquiring and developing their landed property, the introduction of the open mediation at Ugha-Ozolua in the Oba Palace, which is first of its kind in the history of the Palace, aimed at providing opportunity for people, especially women to personally present their complaints to Oba of Benin who graciously and painstakingly seat on the throne to resolve problems presented before the Palace in an unprecedented manner. Since the commencement of the open mediation, many men and women have got justice, many have had reason to rejoice due to the open and fair nature of the resolutions by Oba of Benin. This is being done out of the fatherly love and mercy Oba Ewuare II have for his people.

Therefore, the people must reciprocate this gesture by approaching the Palace and the revered throne of the Oba in the most appreciative, respectful and dignifying manner.. This will gladden the heart of all Palace functionaries and also encourage His Royal Majesty to continue to do more better things for his people. Oba Ewuare II no doubt meant well for the people. The vision and mission of Oba Ewuare II is for the Kingdom to witness high level of development and for his people to be healthy and prosperous.

That explains why the Oba of Benin has been working closely with the state, and federal governments as well as other well-meaning Nigerians and members of the international community to attract development to Edo State. In due course, the Oba of Benin would be unveiling his boxes of Royal gifts for his people, especially the less privileged members of the society.

With the first coronation anniversary of the Oba few weeks away, it should be placed on record that His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II has changed things for the better in Benin Kingdom. His Royal Majesty deserves commendation, appreciation and respect from the people.

The magnanimity and benevolence of the Oba must not be taken forgranted, rather the Oba should be revered by all in accordance with the custom and tradition of Benin.. Moreover, as the Oba is a legendary hero of Benin Kingdom.
May the reign of Oba Ewuare II be long to usher in the desired blessings for the people

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