Ogagun: Eweka/ Usuanlele Families of Benin
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Written By Ekhaguosa Aisien (Last update August 4, 2022)

Ogagun was one of the sons of Obegbo of Ugboko in Iyekorhiomwo, Benin Division. He was strong, keen and quite industrious During the reign of Oba Osemwede, Ogagun left Benin City to the Ekiti hinterland for trade and was stationed at Igbara Oke where he remained many years trading. He subsequently returned to Benin City early in the reign of Oba Adolo and the title Osasemwoyen was conferred on him by the Oba Adolo

He was an influential and famous magician of his day, honoured, respected and feared by the citizens through his great knowledge in magical art. He married his eldest daughter, Arokun, a beautiful lady to crown Prince Idugbowa who later became (Oba Ovonramwen). Prince Idugbowa  thereupon committed adultery with one of the younger wives of his father-in-law, and the issue of this adulterous union was Aiguobasinmwi who was so named in parabolic term  Ogagun for the horrible crime or offence committed by Crown Prince Idugbowa (Ovonramwen)  his son in-law.

It was this child Aiguobasinmwi who through the will of God became Oba of Benin with the title Eweka II in 1914. It aggrieved Ogagun so much that he also named his grandson Usuanlele born for Crown Prince Idugbowa (Ovonramwen) by Arokun his daughter by another parabolic attribute which means that what Crown Prince Idugbowa (Ovonramwen) did to him can never be obliterated in his memory. Both Crown Prince Idugbowa (Ovonramwen) and his father, Oba Adolo, greatly resented these odd parabolic names and therefore consciously began to trouble Ogagun in all ways posible.
Whenever Crown Prince Idugbowa (Ovonramwen) got a slight fever and especially Oba Adolo would resort to an oracle and the predictions would be nothing else but against Ogagun on the whole especially when Crown Prince Idugbowa () lost one of his children. Consequently, Adolo went to Ogagun in parabolic language that he should sleep that is, to commit suicide because he was endangering his son’s life, but Ogagun sent a reply back to the Oba that he did not wish to sleep yet and could not be compelled to do it.

Then began a series of horrible sacrifices under gone by Oba Adolo during this occasion both to preserve the life of his son and also to compel Ogagun to commit suicide. To these sacrifices Ogagun proudly uttered the following contemptuous words :- Tell Adolo to send the necessary victims to me direct to be slaughtered and eaten instead of sending them to Squares and high places because I am not a lower creature to eat sacrificial victims in the Squares like dogs. But, willingly or unwillingly, Ogagun was subsequently forced to commit suicide after a considerable time in 1882.
A Comet and other bad signs appeared soon after his death and were counted as a result of his power and skilful knowledge in the magical art. He was very rich and powerful. For this reason, soon after his accession to the throne, Ovenramwen was contemplating not accepting Aiguobasinmi, as his heir but the advice of Egiebo the Uwangue, and that of the unseen power prevailed.

People used to be very frank in speaking to the Obas of Benin. For instance, on a rainy day in 1883 during one of the ceremonies at the palace a man named Obakpolo Uzazakpo (or Ovbi-Uzazakpo) boldly said to Oba Adolo, when he saw the chiefs kneeling before him in the rain “Why is it that you, Odin-Ovba. the son of Ugiomo, sit magnificent on the throne and let your chiefs kneel in the rain as if they were your bought slaves. Are they not the same creatures of God, born by women, as you are? Let them rise up and get out of the rain”. When one of the kneeling chiefs tried to interrupt Uzazakpo, Adolo told him to be silent saying that Uzazakpo had boldly expressed what the chiefs had been afraid to say. He ordered the chiefs to rise and get out of the rain. After thanking Uzazakpo for his plain speaking, he gave him a present of food and drink and sent him home.

Adolo was a kind-hearted and prudent Oba, beloved and respected by his subjects for his just and wise rule. He was rich and industrious. He purchased many slaves and founded many towns and villages for them to dwell in. He encouraged commerce and established various markets such as Ekiadolo, which bears his name. He was very generous and provided for the upkeep of the aged and helpless. He reigned forty years and left four sons, Idugbowa, Orokhorho, Idusere, and Erese, and four daughters, Ehendia, Izegbuwa, Idefua and ldehen.

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