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Oba of Benin joins his ancestors

His Royal Majesty Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa, the monarch of Benin Kingdom has joined his ancestors. He was 92 years old.

According to authoritative sources within and outside Edo State, the well-regarded king transited to the great beyond about two weeks ago. His death is still being kept secret because by Benin tradition, the death of an Oba could only be officially announced 30 days after his transition.

The Oba was said to have died in his palace. Immediately he was confirmed dead by his personal physician, a delegation of senior Benin chiefs went to the house of the heir apparent to the throne, Prince Eheneden Erediauwa to inform him of the development.

Investigations by ionigeria.com revealed that the Oba died about two days before the campaign rally of the Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Major General Mohammadu Buhari in Benin City. Buhari had his rally in Benin City on Thursday, January 29, 2015. That is why the Monarch could not receive Major General Buhari.

Similarly, when President Goodluck Jonathan visited Benin City for his campaign rally, he was only received at the palace by a team of Benin chiefs led by the Iyase, Chief Sam Igbe.

Oba Erediauwa was born in 1923, son of Oba Akenzua II. Before being crowned he was known as Prince Solomon, Aiseokhuoba, Igbinoghodua Akenzua. He attended Edo College, Benin City, Government College, Ibadan 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.

Ascending to the throne as the 38th Oba of Benin on 23 March 1979. 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. More recently, he tried to broker peace between the feuding members of Edo State House of Assembly.

It would be recalled that his wife, Queen Esther died about a year ago.

May his soul rest in perfect peace.

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About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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