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Coronation ceremonies for Benin Crown Prince begins today

By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu and Michael Egbejule, Benin City   |   08 October 2016   |   3:22 am

All commercial activities around the Palace of the Oba of Benin were yesterday suspended to pave way for the commencement of the coronation ceremonies of Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, which is expected to last 12 days.

Though the closure of the markets within the palace premises is expected to last till 12 am this morning, palace personnel were already clearing the markets in that area, apparently to clean the place, as there is a shrine within the precinct of the area where some ceremonies would be performed.

In a press briefing yesterday, Chairman of the Coronation Committee, Prof Gregory Akenzua, said the ceremonies would climax with the coronation of the new Oba on Thursday, October 20, followed by a thanksgiving service on Sunday, October 23 at the Holy Aruosa Cathedral, Benin City.

He said during the coronation ceremonies, starting from when the Edaiken leaves the Uselu Palace today, “the use of coral beads by those who are normally entitled will be restored and the current use of Omo N Orhue (white beads) will be discontinued.”

Akenzua added that all burial activities are prohibited throughout the period of the coronation, with effect from today, October 8, through October 27.

He added: “From midnight today, all commercial activities around Eko-Ohae and Urho-Okpota should cease until further notice.

“Furthermore, burial ceremonies are prohibited throughout the period of the coronation process”

The Crown Prince is expected to embark on a foot procession, escorted by Uselu people, where he has been reigning as the Edaiken N’Uselu since March last year

The Crown Prince of Benin Kingdom and Edaiken N’ Uselu, Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, would become the 39th Oba of Benin of Kingdom and the 70th king of Benin when counted from the era of the Ogisos.

The city centre and environs are already wearing a new look, while all traders and drivers carrying out commercial activities around the Urhokpota Hall have been chased away.

It would be recalled that the city stood still for several hours on Saturday, March 13, last year when the Crown Prince was installed as the Edaiken N’Uselu.

It came few weeks after he was initiated into the Royal Palace Chamber of Iwebo in conformity with the Benin custom.

Before the trek of about four kilometres from the palace, he 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 then (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 to become the Edaiken N’Uselu.

The Guardian gathered that he would be in the traditional ground in Uselu, where he would preside over activities, with support from Uselu chiefs.

The traditional trek attracted eminent personalities across the state and the kingdom, including palace chiefs; Governor Adams Oshiomhole; his deputy, Pius Odubu; governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki; businessman, Captain Hosa Okunbor; and several other.

There were different traditional groups of various cadres, 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.

At the palace before the procession, Oshiomhole paid homage to the Crown Prince. There were hordes of women and youth groups, who escorted the Crown Prince to Uselu traditional palace.

As tradition demands, the procession ushered in a new dawn in the history of the ancient Benin Kingdom, the state capital.

There was large crowd of supporters, who thronged the ancient palace to participate in the colourful ceremony, while shops, markets and other business premises within the urban city were temporarily shut as an honour and solidarity with the Crown Prince.

All adjoining streets and major roads linking traditional shrines and worship centres were cordoned-off by security operatives deployed to ensure a 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.

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