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Benin palace urges compliance with oba’s transition rites


The late, Oba of Benin

The late, Oba of Benin

As transition ceremonies for the late Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa begin, the Benin Traditional Council (BTC) yesterday, called on all Benin people home and abroad, including friends of the kingdom, to join the palace in observing all customs and traditions in his honour.

The Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom, Sam Igbe, who led other palace chiefs, made the call at a press briefing in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

As part of the royal rites, “All male citizens of Benin kingdom will as a rule be expected to clean shave the hair on their heads with effect from April 29, 2016, in obedience to the Benin tradition.”

He added that all funeral rites would be prohibited from the date of announcement of Emwinekhua (obsequies), which will be announced later by the palace.

The Iyase solicited that, “all our friends and well-wishers, including those who live and work for their livelihoods within our kingdom, may join us after the announcement.”

As part of the rites, “All markets in the kingdom were closed for three days after the announcement. We are sure that by now they are open and busy,” he said.

He warned against the wearing of traditional beads, cautioning that, “All chiefs, enigies, priests and palace functionaries, who are entitled to wear beads as part of their normal attires, will seize wearing beads from the date of the announcement,’ adding instead ‘they will wear Omonorhue or white thread (Ikhian) until further notice.”

Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has described the monarch’s death as a great loss not only to his family, but the country as a whole.

In separate letters to the state governor, Adams Oshiohmole and Crown Prince, Eheneden Erediauwa respectively, Obasanjo remarked that he received the news of the monarch’s transition with deep sense of sorrow.

Obasanjo said, “Benin, which is his traditional domain, occupies a pedestal of looming importance in our ancient and contemporary history. It has, since pre-colonial times, remained a robust repertoire of the finest aspects of our cultural and artistic heritage,” he said.

“ It is instructive that his reign over Benin Kingdom witnessed very significant and notable social and political developments, growth, progress, peace and stability in the state. My administration, as a democratically-elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, benefitted tremendously from his wise counsel and goodwill,” he added.

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