The Oba of Benin, Omo N’ Oba Ne Edo, Uku Akpolokpolor, Oba Erediauwa, has gone
A concise statement on Friday at the Benin palace by the Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, who spoke in Bini dialect and translated to English said: “Osorhue Bunrun, Oba Erediauwa of Benin Kingdom, the Prince of Peace, Ebo, Ayemwirhe, Emini Mini Mini, has reunited with his ancestors. May he find peace with God.
The announcement was done simultaneously with the symbolic breaking of white chalk by the Iyase at the Urho-Ozolua shrine within the Oba’s palace in the presence of a large gathering consisting of other palace chiefs of different categories, traditional rulers in the Benin Kingdom, members of the Benin royal family, Benin sons and daughters and journalists, who had all been summoned to the palace as early 10:00a.m.
The Iyase further announced to the gathering that all markets in the Benin Kingdom should be closed forthwith, palace chiefs with many beads should start to wear one and that Benin sons should shave their heads.
It was gathered at the meeting that the news of the passage of the foremost traditional ruler had earlier been broken to his first son and the Benin Crown Prince, HRH (Ambassador) Eheneden Erediauwa, Edaiken N’ Uselu and members of the Benin Royal family.
The Obadolagbonyi of Benin Kingdom, Chief, Omon Osagie Utetenegiabi, said it was customary that the transition of a Benin monarch be first broken to his eldest son and his immediate family members first before the highest ranking palace chief, the Iyase of Benin, breaks the passage to the Benin people.
He said, “Iyase is the traditional Prime Minister and the bridge between the people and the royalty and that is what he has done today. From today until the expiration of ‘Emwinekhua’ all Benin chiefs, that have been entitled by the Oba to wear the round bead round their neck which is two will now wear one. It is customary because when you see a Chief wear one bead, it shows that we are a state of mourning.”
“After today, we are awaiting further instructions on what to do. But the Oba of Benin does not die because he is an institution; he mainly translates to a high glory as an ancestor.”
He described Oba Erediauwa as an Oba of peace, the Oba who brought prosperity to his people and understood his people, adding that the departed Oba was an Oba who could sit in judgment and give judgment against his own son for a commoner. "
Omo N’ Oba Erediauwa was born in 1923 to Oba Akenzua II, the 37th Oba of Benin Kingdom. Before being crowned an Oba on the 23rd of March 1979, he was known as Prince Solomon, Aiseokhuoba, Igbinoghodua Akenzua.
He attended Government College, Ibadan (1939–1945) and Yaba College, Lagos, before going to King’s College, Cambridge to study Law and Administration. On returning to Nigeria, he joined the Eastern Nigeria Civil Service in 1957 as a District Officer and later moved to the Federal Civil Service where he retired as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health in 1973.
For a short period, he was the regional representative of Gulf Oil. In 1975, he was appointed Commissioner for Finance in Bendel State during the military administration of Major-General George Agbazika Innih.