Queen Iden
Queen Iden Of Oka (Benin)
{Wife of Oba Ewuakpe 1700AD-1712AD}
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Iden of Oka was a loving wife of Oba Ewuakpe and she remained very faithful to him while her comrades deserted the harem when the Oba was suffering from the rebellion of his subjects and was also in poverty and want as a result of his cruel deeds Subsequently, the oracle advised him to offer a human sacrifice to the gods and to scatter about the tower of the palace some newly emptied calabashes of palm oil, pads for carrying loads on the head, e.t.c.

His wife Iden urged him to act according to the prediction and. advice of the oracle. The other necessary articles were   accordingly provided by her and scattered all about the tower, no human being could be found for the sacrifice. Consequently Iden voluntarily offered herself to be the victim for the sacrifice and was buried alive there about the year 1707 A.D. But before the strange burial, Iden warned her husband the Oba seriously that he must let no dirt remain on her grave, and anyone found treading on it must be killed on the spot. This custom was tenaciously observed by every reigning Oba of Benin ever since until the British Government took possession of the country in 1897. A friend indeed is known in the time of need as Iden voluntarily offered herself for sacrifice to propitiate the gods in order to pave the way for the fortune, peace, success and prosperity of her husband, the Oba. Her kind; good and noble deeds shall ever be in the memory of the Obas and the State in general.

It was through her efforts her devoted love, her self-sacrifice and martyrdom to make channel for the success of her husband, Ewuakpe that made the succeeding Obas of Benin to derive their rights to the crown. They were therefore indebted to her martyrdom

Ah! Iden the martyr, on behalf of the community the author profoundly bows at thy grave for thy loving martyrdom, but pray thee to forgive if he happened to trespass against thy command for unknowingly treading on thy grave. Anyway a monument will be made there to perpetuate thy memory by the Oba and the State.

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Benin kingdom copy right