TODAY, history is being made in the ancient  Benin Kingdom as the Crown Prince and Edaiken N’Uselu will be crowned the 39th Oba. The city  of Benin and environs have for weeks been agog over festivities for his coronation which climaxes today with the formal presentation of the staff of office by the Edo State Governor to the new Oba.

WE note with gladness that the Crown Prince began the journey to the throne of his ancestors  shortly after the Palace announced that Omo N’Oba N’EdoUku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa had joined his ancestors early in the year as he   was formally installed as the Edaiken N’ Uselu, on March 12, 2016, thus making him the next Oba after completing the traditional rites.

ON Tuesday, October 6, 2015, after seven days ceremony, Prince Eheneden was formally initiated into the Royal Palace Chamber of Iwebo in keeping with ancient Binin custom and tradition. The coronation ceremony has again re-enacted the rich cultural heritage of the Benin people as attested to by many visitors to the city drawn from within and outside the country.

His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, Oba of Benin
Oba Ewuare II

ALSO,  as part of preparations for the epoch event, the Crown Prince  embarked on a symbolic wrestling bout with the Chief Priest of Okhuaihe shrine and the Ohen N’Ukoni Neyedo, Osarodion Usuanlele. The implication of the symbolic wrestling bout which took place at the shrine located at Evbuekoi community, in Uhunwode Local Government Area of the state, is that once the Crown Prince becomes Oba, both of them will never see each other again.

A few days ago, the Crown Prince chose his coronation name after defeating Edigin N’Use in the traditional Akhue game (marble seeds). He will officially announce his name during his coronation today at Urhokpota in Benin.

WELL prepared for the stool and endowed with the rich history, traditions and customs of the Benin people,  the crown prince is reputed to love his family true and true. Even though it was widely said that the Oba’s eldest son does not see his father and are far apart, Crown Prince Erediauwa loved his father so much that he  is the first Crown Prince in the history of Benin Kingdom to been so close to his father.

BORN in  1953,  The new Oba has a B.A. in economics and sociology from the University of Wales. He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. Since 1987 he has been active in leading positions within the Nigerian business community, especially the gas and oil industries.

The crown prince was the Nigerian Ambassador to Norway and Angola  for several years  and  was recalled to Benin Kingdom to assume his role as the first son and heir apparent to the throne of Binin Kingdom.  On ascending the revered seat of the Oba of Benin today, Prince Eheneden will become the 39th Oba of Bini Kingdom following a long line of royals dating back to the 15th century.

INTERESTINGLY too, today marks the birthday of the Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa as he was born on October 20. It is the best thing that can ever happen to a King as his coronation anniversary will always be marked on his birthday.

The NIGERIAN OBSERVER  joins millions of citizens of Benin Kingdom, friends and well wishers of the Benin people both in Nigeria and Diaspora to wish the Crown Prince a special birthday and coronation ceremony as he receives the staff of office today.

IT is also important to note that expectations are high from the new Oba’s subject and we urge him to improve on where Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa let off. Oba Erediauwa’s reign was very peaceful and marked socio-economic transformation of the kingdom. Expectations are that the new Oba of Benin would surpass these achievements and improve the lots of his subjects.

THE NIGERIAN OBSERVER wishes the new Oba a very successful leadership of the people of Benin Kingdom. Oba Gha to kpere, Ise