The Mysteries of Benin

By Douglas Ogbankwa


There is no family in Benin, located in Edo State of Nigeria, that does not have family abroad.

Benin City has one of the largest diaspora remittances in Africa. So, the Benin Airport has one of the top three busiest domestic terminals in Nigeria.

Inside Benin lies a lot of wealth. Oben, a rustic town off Sapele Road, has one of the largest deposits of gas in Africa.

Convener, Security Situation Room, SSR, Mr. Douglas Ogbankwa

The biggest exploration activities of the NNPC Limited – Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is processed at the NPDC Headquarters at Oko Ogba Road, in Benin.

The Football culture in Benin is very prevalent. At a time, out of 11 Players of the Junior National Teams, about 7 or 8 could be Benins. Then, Nigeria was winning, until tribalism set in.

The mystery of the night.
I live that to your imagination. Benin is actually more fun at night, but be careful.

One of the mysteries of this World is Benin City, one of the two cities in the world that has a wall across its frontiers, the other being the Great Wall of China.

In an Organised Setting, the City is known for its network of roads and also the network of its indigenes that live all around the World.

But what the Benins hold so dear to their heart is their Monarchy.

The Supremacy of the Oba among his Benin people is affirmed in many Benin aphorisms.*Aiguobasimwin*-You do not hold ground with the Oba, you submit,
*Obayantor Ke’ vban ya se evboebo* – The Oba owns all the land, even those in the diaspora.

The current Oba of Benin is His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare the Great, 11, who is full of majesty and whose charisma is expressed mostly in his mien and disposition. His Royal Majesty is a king of few words, but plenty of action.

A great Reformer and Changer of the status quo, the Oba of Benin was responsible for the control of the land tenure system, which had been hijacked by some forces, until the ascension to the throne of His Royal Majesty.

This led to the scrapping of the Community Development Associations that was a clog in the wheel of progress of Land Tenure System in the Benin speaking areas of Edo State.

His Royal Majesty has also engaged in cultural diplomacy, which has led to the return of many Benin Artefacts to the reverred Palace of the Oba of Benin and is about to birth the much anticipated Benin Royal Museum.

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His Royal Majesty also looks out for his own in the complex nature of Nigeria’s diversity.

To this end, the Oba has paid visits to the former President of Nigeria – President Mohammadu Buhari and recently to President Bola Tinubu to advance the cause of his subjects, within the Nigerian Matrix.

The Grandeur of his Royal Majesty is in his Royal Court, which is well organized and fully gazetted The Iyase of Benin is the Prime Minister and today he is Chief Sam Igbe, a congenial and benevolent character.

But we have different palace societies within the Benin Traditional Council -, the Usama, the Iwebo, etc.

The Palace has a magnificent view from the inside as it is a beauty to behold. But inside, there are some esoteric dimensions that are unfathomable, even to the most wise.

Benin, however is bigger than the City. So, they say Edokpolor – which depicts the fact that Benin is big. It is also made of the things you see and the things you do not see.

When you get to Benin, Benin is still far. I thought I knew much about Benin, until I saw a new dimension recently. I was non plussed, but it was indeed an an eye opener.

The splendor of the Oba also resonates in the palace’ activities, which are multifaceted.

It has a unique festival called the Igue Festival, done every December. The Festival is an agglomeration of many activities.

Young Benin maidens and boys are seen dancing to houses and offering prayers for the next year, with the Ewere leaf, that has its origin in an event that changed the cause of Benin centuries ago.

Benin is indeed an interesting place as the people are one of the most accommodating people, in the world, but do not push them, you will be shocked.

It is a place to enjoy, have profound pleasure and leisure, if you are a man or woman of splendour. It is place deep in all things, but a blessed land that favours all irrespective of tribe or creed.

I have adopted a Benin Name -Osadebamwen. An expression of the love and warmth, I have felt in Benin. Welcome to Benin, the land of the Bronze, of the mystic of Igun and the mystery of Ogun and Olokun

*Nekpen, Nekpen. Aisiriuwa*, *Ekinamaedo Agbonaa*

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