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Oba Erediauwa I

Erediauwa N’Oba  was born on 22 June 1923. His father Oba Akenzua II presented him to his father Eweka II, who lifted the baby up and smiled. Saying he is the reincarnation of Chief Agho Ogbedeoyo, the Obaseki Of Benin, who had acted as the Oba during the interregnum, 1897-1914. Erediauwa become an Oba the 38th Oba of Benin, traditional ruler of the Edo people in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.  He was Formerly known as Prince Solomon Aiseokhuoba Igbinoghodua Akenzua, Oba Erediauwa's full title was His Royal Majesty Omo n'Oba n'Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa I.

Oba Erediauwa took on the title and duties as traditional head of state and rightful heir of the Benin Empire when he was crowned King, succeeding his father, Oba Akenzua II, in a ceremony held in Benin City, Nigeria, on 23 March 1979.

 

Apart from the usual traditional palace tutorials which begin at birth, he went to Government School, Benin after which he proceeded to Government College, Ibadan in 1939. He gained admission into Yaba College in 1945. After the completion of his course at Yaba, he was admitted into King's College, Cambridge to study Law and Administration. He returned to Nigeria to join the Eastern Nigeria Civil Service as a District Officer (D.O.) in 1957. He transferred his services to the Federal Civil Service and rose to the position of Permanent Secretary.

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.

 

He attended Government College, Ibadan (1939–1945), then Yaba College, before going to King's College, Cambridge to study Law and Administration. He joined the Eastern Nigeria Civil Service in 1957 as a District Officer, later moving 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.

 

In his time, traditional rulers could be members of political parties; even form parties. Akenzua II was in the forefront of the creation of the Midwest State. He formed a political party for this purpose - Benin-Delta Peoples' Party in 1953. Otu-Edo was formed to defend his person against the political onslaught of the Ogboni/Action Group under the leadership of Eguobase Gaius Obaseki, the ninth child of Agho Obaseki. Inspite of the unconfirmed relationship as a result of circumstances of reincarnation, Akenzua and Gaius Obaseki were never the best of friends.

Oba Erediauwa witnessed the rule of the army, formation of political parties several times over since he ascended the throne in 1979. Although, it would seem he is insulated from partisan politics not many would accept this as a solution to the numerous political and party problems that confront the people today. He welcomes and blesses all aspirants that call on him. Even then the tone and length of his prayers are misinterpreted in varied partisan ways. But the Oba usually put his foot down never to be intimidated.

 

Erediauwa N'Oba had used his kingly office to influence the welfare and the fortunes of his people. He is an unmoving pivot around which the life of his subjects revolve. Over the years, he had discharged his responsibilities with much worldly wisdom and with dauntless courage. Men and kings must be judged in the testing moments of their lives. His refusal to succumb to the administrative tantrums to change his stance on the vague urges of the military proved that he rated the welfare of his people far above his personal sentiments or pride even more above his interest. How best, can one describe the odious ordeal of the immediate past if not governed by love and respect for his tradition and culture. Since his ascension to the ancient throne, he had given effective leadership to his subjects. On his coronation day, he pledged to unite all Edo-speaking people including those in diaspora. His focus was to re-establish the great Edo culture

 

Ascending to the throne on 23 March 1979, Erediauwa celebrated his 30th anniversary in 2009. During this period, he several times acted as a peacemaker between politicians. For example, he intervened in a dispute between Abia State governor Orji Uzor Kalu and Tony Anenih, Chairman of the People's Democratic Party Board of Trustees, and resolved another face-off involving Anenih and former Edo State Governor Lucky Igbinedion. Apart from the ceremonial aspects, his 30th anniversary festival was a week long carnival and a showcase of Benin arts and culture, with numerous performances of traditional music and dance, as well as an art exhibition and food fair.

His death was announced on 29 April 2016. The statement did not say when and how he died.

 

 

 

Sources

en.wikipedia.org

www.edoworld.net

www.greatbeninkingdommedia.fm

nkiruhomann.com