Benin wears a new look as crown prince ascends throne
Benin City, the capital of Edo State and its environs, now wear a new look and major roads decorated as activities for the coronation of Crown Prince Ehenden Erediauwa began a week ago and would end on Thursday, October 20.
That is when his reign would begin as the 39th Oba of Benin and the 70th ruler of the city from the reign of Ogisos, spanning several hundreds of years.
As tradition provides, he would today leave the Uzama Palace, where he has been since Friday evening to Use village, to choose a name before officially being crowned as Oba of Benin. Whatever name he chooses, is what he will bear throughout his reign and would from then, seize to be Ehenden Erediauwa .
The palace itself has undergone major structural renovation with modern designs for the traditional institution. The palace of the departed monarch, Oba Erediauwa, has also been given a facelift.
Major streets and roads in the city have been decorated with signposts and banners, carrying pictures of the new monarch.Apart from the large marquee that has been set at Urokpota Hall, where the coronation ceremony would take place, the surrounding of the building has been decorated as well.
The Benin Crown Prince had late Friday evening entered the Uzama Palace to commence the coronation rituals.He entered the Uzama Palace on Friday at about 7:30p.m. after trekking from the Eko-Ohae, where he had stayed for three days after he left Uselu Palace penultimate Saturday.
On his way to the Uzama Palace, he stopped to pay homage at the Emotan shrine and Oba Ehengbuda Palace shrines. He was accompanied by a large crowd.
The Edaiken began the coronation process with a 10- kilometre trek from his temporary palace at Uselu to Eko-Ohae (bachelors’ camp) in the present day Oredo Local Council where he had been since March last year. He also symbolically climbed a palm tree said to be 500 years.
Erediauwa left Uselu at about 3:45p.m. on Friday, October 7, accompanied by a large crowd mainly indigenes of Uselu. He trekked through the Benin-Lagos road, through Lagos Street to Ekpo-Ohae at Urhokpota hall.
He, thereafter, moved to the Iyan-akpan now known as the popular Five-Junction where chiefs from Uselu community handed him to chiefs from Benin. Chiefs from Benin then escorted the Crown Prince to Benin City.
Various cultural troupes, such as the Iten Edo Theatre Group, Benin Royal Dynasty Trust Dance entertained the crowd.Chief Osamede Adun, the Aiyobahan of Benin Kingdom said he was 25 years old when the late Oba Erediauwa was crowned king in 1979 and that he stood among the crowd to watch the procession and coronation. “
A chief who claimed to witness the coronation of Oba Akenzua, Chief Osarobo Orue, the Oba Iyekeagbon of Benin Kingdom said the reign of the new Oba of Benin would bring peace than his predecessors.
Chief Egharevba Igbinehi, the Ohanwan of Benin, said his forefathers were among the chiefs that came with Prince Oranmiyan from Uhe (Ife).He said his function was to pray for the Oba before he began any ceremony.
It would be recalled that the city stood still for several hours on Saturday on March 13, 2015, when the Crown Prince was installed as the Edaiken N’Uselu.It is a process that came a few weeks after he was initiated into the Royal Palace Chamber of Iwebo in conformity with the Benin custom.