Benin tradition in focus as crown prince Eheneden becomes Edaiken N’Uselu

The crown prince of Benin Kingdom Eheneden Erediauwa (third left) during the trek as part of ceremonies to officially install him as Edaiken N’Uselu at the weekend

The crown prince of Benin Kingdom Eheneden Erediauwa (third left) during the trek as part of ceremonies to officially install him as Edaiken N’Uselu at the weekend

Several centuries of unalloyed tradition and custom of the ancient Benin Kingdom came to the fore to widespread accolade as the kingdom literally stood still for several hours on Saturday when Crown Prince, Eheneden Erediauwa was installed the Edaiken N’Uselu.

The installation comes a few weeks after the crown prince was initiated into the Royal Palace Chamber of Iwebo in conformity with the Benin custom.

It is expected that more initiations and ceremonies involving the crown prince would take place in the next few weeks.Before the installation which involved a long trek of about four kilometres from the palace, the prince visited some shrines inside the palace before taking his seat at a prepared space after some ceremonies where his wives and siblings came to pay obeisance.

The moderator of the ceremony announced in Benin dialect that the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopolor, Oba Erediauwa had directed that the people of the kingdom be informed that his son and heir apparent was proceeding to Uselu to become the Edaiken N’Uselu.

The Guardian gathered that he would be in the traditional ground in Uselu for at least 90 days where he is expected to preside over activities with support from Uselu chiefs.

The traditional trek attracted eminent personalities across the state and the kingdom including palace chiefs, the state Governor Adams Oshiomhole, his deputy, Pius Odubu, an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant, Godwin Obaseki, business mogul, Hosa Okunbor and several other personalities.

There were different traditional groups who escorted the prince to Uselu.The trek started from the palace to the Oba Market, Lagos Street to connect Iyaro and Urubi streets and then to Uselu and the Edaiken traditional ground where a mammoth crowd and dignitaries were already waiting.

Before the procession took off from the palace, Oshiomhole paid homage to the crown prince.There were hundreds of women and youth groups from across the kingdom who in their thousands escorted the crown prince to Uselu traditional grounds.

According to tradition, the procession heralds the beginning of a new dawn in the history of the ancient Benin Kingdom, the Edo State capital.

There was a large crowd of supporters who thronged the ancient palace to participate in the colourful ceremony, while shops, markets and other businesses were temporarily shut in honour for the crown prince.

All adjoining streets and major roads linking traditional shines and worship centres were cordoned off by security operatives deployed to ensure the peaceful exercise while men of the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were on ground to control traffic.

Titled chiefs dressed in-red-and- white over flowing and half Ebuluku traditional attire added colour to the procession which ended at five junctions within the city.

Women groups adorned in Benin traditional attire, drummers and entertainers, youths, politicians and government officials led by Oshiomhole had defied the scorching sun to await the prince who arrived clad in a white and red traditional regalia.
He had on a pair of dark glasses which did not hide his smiles as he arrived in the company of first class Benin palace chiefs.

They first drove in a convoy alongside a team of security officials from his private residence in the Government Reserved Area (GRA) to the palace around 2:00 p.m. and had a brief consultation with palace chiefs before the trek began.

At the Iyaro moat before Five Junction where the Benin chiefs handed him over to chiefs from Uselu, some sacrifices were made before the crown prince continued his journey to the traditional ground.

In a brief interview with The Guardian, Okunbor said: “This is one kingdom that holds its original values till today. We are following the Edaiken of Uselu to his home in Uselu. It is a procession that all the sons and daughters of this town are proud of.

We are very proud to escort him to his residence at Uselu today. It is a beginning of what you will soon see unfold, I cannot go into details but we are escorting our crown prince to his Uselu residence.

“We will trek there and we will be proud to trek there and be with him. This is a heritage that I belong to and it is a heritage I am very proud of and most of us are very proud of this heritage that has retained its original values for over 700 years and it has not been adulterated. How I wish this country still had the same values we had when we were growing up that we would be so proud of.

Sadly, those values around which we were raised are no longer there and that is why we have problems. For me, I belong to an age-long heritage that has its original values and we are very proud to be part of it.”

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  • Omooba

    Only one step to being the occupant of the palace of the oba of Benin the beginning of which “you will soon see unfold” Needless to be told something is in the offing. As the yorubas say “ogbo n’run”

    • ecd201

      Does it mean that the present occupant has gone home to his ancestors and what is happening now is a rite of passage and tactical handover to the son who cannot see the father while he is alive? Does it mean that there will soon be a change of baton and they are keeping quiet about it so as to get everything they need for a smooth transition and handover?

      • Joseph Williams

        Children learn best by mere observation. So, observe what’s happening.

  • ukoette ibekwe

    What a foolish bunch. They believe celebrating culture is reinventing the medieval ages.

    • Clement Okundaye

      this is what you will celebrate about the english.. but for us africans it is medieval age reincarnation..i pity those who has no history and no culture..its people like you that are the problem with nigeria

    • Joseph Williams

      I believe you are the real foolish bunch. If you know that celebrating culture is not reinventing the medieval ages, Then, tell us what it is.

      • Bobino

        Culture is since lost in your place if at all you didn’t fall from the sky. MUMU

    • Lucky Obaseki

      A people or person with no cultural heritage is lost. You just showed how foolish you are.

      • Bobino

        His foolishness speaks volume. Don’t dissipate your energy to reply Ibekwe because he doesn’t know what culture represents.

  • Alhajivinco

    What does Hosa Okunbor know about values? Was he not one of the beneficiaries of the Jonathan-Diezani oil industry fraud?

  • aiyekotto

    ‘The moderator of the ceremony announced in Benin dialect’…stop promoting linear cultural perspective please, if you know what i mean. ALL LANGUAGES ARE LANGUAGES!

    • Freee speech

      A beg go and sit down somewhere! All languages are languages,who told you that??? Yeah right! Tell that to the birds and goats!!
      Is it because you can no longer speak your own dialect that you are advancing this shallow logic? Simply because the person speaking bini dialect shows your inadequacy? Am yoruba like you, and it saddens me that our so called educated ones turn their noses at anything to do with their culture at the expense of european culture that is so shallow and devoid of all the riches of our african heritage and traditions.

      I marvel and admire the Binis! They truly hold very fastidiously to their culture. Even whilst living in Europe, you can never see any Bini person insulting their Oba and neither would they ever let you do it…but stupid yoruba people will be there talking stupid talk all in the name eof education and civilization! Many of their kids today cant even speak yoruba! Talk about throwing away your cultures and traditions! As if you have ever seen a french man who claims to be french but tells you his children cant speak french…only english!…or a spanish man or italian! or even indians living in London, their kids still speak their language!

  • The Realist


  • omoobanewyork

    Yes, the english has tradition, remember no one is hungry homeless, could not pay medical bills,beggar on the street, the Queen visits the vulnerable and every family can afford education in. Britain

  • omoobanewyork

    The vulnerable are people who have no relatives, old or young, the poor and sick, the homeless individuals, the drug addicts and much more, how has the palace advocated for them. How dear you compare the english tradition with the Edo traditional garbage.

  • omoobanewyork

    People check this out, the greatest countries in the world have no oba’s or king, Russian, USA, Australia, France, germany, China, in reality, the Era of oba and king is old style. America have tradition and they do not have Oba or king. So, we do not need Oba to have tradition

    • Izedomi Ohirein

      Britain is great. has a Queen. Created, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana & South Africa, to name but a few.
      Omo N Oba ne Edo has no political powers. We love our cultural heritage. It is a shame that our ancestors did not impose Edo throughout Benin Empire.

  • omoobanewyork

    Go and study the history of Kings and Queens, they were godfathers, gangsters, and the powerful family who imposed authoritarian alacrity on the people. And subsequently institutionalized their holding and position on the people who had no choice and needed protections as a community. Read the origin of Kings and Queens online

  • omoobanewyork

    Long live the Oba of Benin


    People with heritage keeps its original values, GOD Bless Benin Kingdom.

  • Razak Bello

    I am surprised some people don’t know the value of our culture and tradition! This is the result of imbibing foreign culture and language in our children that will definitely be leaders tomorrow. When the only language your child can speak is English and does not understand our own, that child will never see anything good in his culture when he becomes an adult! That is what we are seeing in the comments here. Even English revered their King and Queen. They never reject their culture. Is it not funny that we prefer to propagate English culture to the detriment of ours? I love the Binis for holding on to their culture. No real Bini son or daughter jokes with this valuable tradition! I still remember some years ago when the fear of a curse from Uku Akpolopolor drove the daredevil robbers from Edo State. The Oba only gave a warning, and the robbers fled! Because they knew the potency of the Oba’s wrath. I am a Yoruba, but I love Edo and its rich culture! When my son brought an Edo into my house, I was sure I had a well brought up daughter-in-law! And I have not been disappointed, and am sure I won’t. I cherish the unadulterated culture of the Binis!