AGENE GODWIN, Benin
The Benin Crown Prince, (Amb) Eheneden Erediauwa, Thursday assumed the name Oba Ewuare 11 as the 40th Oba of Benin kingdom.
This was unveiled at the coronation ceremony at the Urhokpota Hall in the ancient city of Benin.
Benin city was completely locked down following the arrival of dignitaries for the coronation ceremony of the Oba of Benin.
The event, which took place at the Urhokpota Hall was heralded by several cultural displays after the Crown Prince, Eheneden Erediauwa had performed several rites at Osama palace before heading to the Urhokpota Hall for the formal presentation of the staff of office to him by the state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Led by the Ekasa royal troupe from the Usama palace where he resided for about a week, the Crown Prince, walked through old roads leading to the Benin kingdom including crossing the symbolic Itsekhere wooden bridge (River Omi) as a way of asserting his authority as the Oba of Benin.
A brief ceremony was performed on him by the Usama chiefs led by Chief Oliha after some rituals were done at the Urhokpota Hall amidst glitz and glamour.
For the host state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, it was a rare privilege to be part of what he called a ‘historic event.’
He recalled the memorable times he had with the late monarch, Oba Erediauwa, who he said was like a father to him whose guidance while in office as governor helped him to achieve all that his government has achieved.
He particularly mentioned the role Oba Erediauwa played in actualising the dualisation of the Airport road.
The governor added that the state is fortunate to have the new Oba who, he described as very experienced, to take the kingdom to the next level.
In his acceptance speech, the Oba said as an Oba during his reign he will uphold the cultural heritage of the people and his kingdom.
He also said that following the establishment of Obaship by Oronmiyan, he stands to be addressed as the 40th Oba of the kingdom.
He also emphasised the need by the Benin people to use the language as a means of communication with their children so as to keep and protect the language.
He said the principle of neutrality and non-partisanship will be upheld by him and that he will support good governance that will alleviate the sufferings of the people.
While emphasising the need to export Benin culture and tradition, the Oba stated that efforts are already being made to empower several guilds, the palace shall partner with relevant government agencies to the effect.
In memory of his late father, Oba Erediauwa annual lecture series with interest in poetry in Benin language will be inaugurated just as he bestowed on his late mother The Iyoba of Benin, meaning ‘Queen mother’.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who conveyed President Muhammadu Buhari’s greetings and his full support and interest in youth empowerment, prayed that the land will prosper during his reign as the Oba of Benin.
Other guests in attendance include the Sultan of Sokoto, the Emir of Kano, the Oni of Ife , Obi of Onitsha, Etsu Nupe, Otaru of Auchi and Olu of Warri. Others include a representation from the Queen of England, the President, Dangote Group of Companies, Gen. T. Y. Danjuma, Rtd, Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed, Gombe, Osun, Oyo state governors, deputy governor of Imo state as well as captains of industry, diplomats and academics.