Before the 20th century, the Akpe, Akure, Awori, Egba, Ekiti, Ijebu, Ilesha, Ijesha, Ijebu, Ilaje, Ondo, Owo, Oyo etc., never referred to themselves Yoruba. Michael Crowder in his book, 'Story of Nigeria', stated that before the nineteenth century there was no one common term for the peoples now referred to as Yorubas. According to him, the word ‘Yoruba’ is a corruption of 'Yaboo', the Oyo people's dialect. The Europeans of Christian Missionaries Society, the vanguard of the British Colonialist, in Abeokuta used this word to describe the other ethnic groups in the area of their sphere of influence. The Ẹdo people referred to the Oyo people as Olukumi, the Ondo people, as Emwan N’Udo and Akure and Ẹkiti peoples as Ekhuẹ. Since the 15th-century Owo, Akure and Ekiti have been vassals of Benin Empire. Until 1917 there were many Benin merchants and settlers (Ẹdo N’ Ẹkhue), including Benin palace officials, Baale, in many Yoruba communities such as Atigiere, Ado Ekiti, Akure etc.
Omo N’Ọba Ọrhogbua founded a military garrison (eko) on an island now known as Lagos and Badagry in the 16th century. The cities remained Benin colonies until the mid 19th century. Ashipa the first Eleko of Eko, (king of Lagos), was a son of Orhogbua. The first Alani (king) of Idoani and Awujale (king) of Ijebu Ode, according to Edo narratives, were sons of Omo N’Oba Ozolua. Ondo was established by Osemwenughe, the Iyase of Udo, in the 16th century after he lost the last Benin/Udo war. The word, Ondo, is from the Edo word 'Emwan N’Udo or fugitives from Udo. Also, the title of the Ondo king, Osemawe, is an altered form of Osemwenughe. Ikale (Eko Alile)and Akotogbo(Ago Otobo) were military camps established respectively by Alile and Odobo, two Benin war Chieftains, during the Benin/Udo war. Iken, a Benin war Chieftain and the overlord of Uselu, conquered the city-state of Owo in the 15th century. Owo remained a vassal of Benin until the late 1880s. Many communities in present-day Ondo/Akure states such as Itaogbolu, Ikere-Ekiti, Atigiere to mention a few, were founded by immigrants from Benin City during the reigns of the 15th and 16th century Benin warrior kings. Indeed the ruler of Itaogbolu is referred to as ‘odionwere’ and their communal diety is known as ‘Edugie’.
During Omo N’Oba Ehengbuda’s reign, the Owa (king) of Ilesha, Atakunmarha sought refuge in Benin City after his subjects dethroned him. His son was a renowned leopard hunter for the Benin king. He later became the first king of Akure to be addressed as Deji, a word from the Edo phrase Udezi or leopard killer. During, this period Osogboye, the crown prince of Owo, was an Omuada, royal sword-bearer, in the Benin king’s palace. The Ekiti saying ‘Oba Ado ngbogun lodo ile, Ogbomudu ngbe li orun, (The Oba of Benin makes wars on earth while Ogbomudu (thunder) makes war in the heavens testify to the overwhelming influence and supremacy of the Benin kings.
Those who claim and argue that the word Oba is a Yoruba word should make references to history books about Nigeria, and Nigerian Federal and regional governments gazettes before the 1950s. The British Colonial Authorities up till the 1920s referred to the king of Lagos as Eleko of Eko and not as the Oba of Lagos. Also the sane British Colonial Authorities and even the people of these ethnic groups that refer to themselves today as Yoruba never called these rulers or kings as 'Oba' prior to the 1940s. These kings were known and addressed as Oni of Ile-Ife, Olowo of Owo, Awujale of Ijebu, Onikoyi of Ikoyi, Alake of Abekuota Alaketu of Ketu, Alafin of Oyo, Deji of Akure, and Timi of Ede, Olu of Ibadan Alani of Idoani and Onisabe of Sabe, Osemawe of Ondo to mention a few. The appellation of Oba was unique to the king of Benin.
The word, Oba, is an abbreviation of the Edo phrase, omo no be uwa, the child who builds prosperity. It was the praise name of Omonoyan(Oronmiyan) son of Ekaladerhan whom the people of Uhe (Ile-Ife ) referred to as Oduduwa.
The Reason why Many tribes are jealous of the Benin People is because when you view Africa from a bigger scale,you will not see all these people claiming to be the "Majority" of the present day Nigeria.
They said we are proud
They said we don't like hard labour.
But what they are also not saying is that we are Warriors with a Royal DNA which gave us a Noble Soul.
Oba gha to kpere
HOW IMAGUERO'S OBSESSION WITH EXPENSIVE CORAL BEADS LED TO THE FAMOUS IDAH WAR OF BENIN KINGDOM.
During the reign of Oba Ẹsigie around 1504, there was a prominent Chief called Oliha.
Chief Oliha had an addiction...
It was the woman at the centre of his world.
Many understood why he loved and adored his wife to a dangerous level; she was easy on the eyes.
Her name was Imaguero. She was very famous for her beauty and Chief Oliha felt very lucky to own such a breathtaking female.
Whenever he showed up at the palace, he would brag to anyone who cared to listen about the faithfulness of his precious Imaguero. According to Chief Oliha, this rare beauty was the kindest, most faithful woman in Benin.
His fellow elites were more impressed than amused. Some secretly envied him and wished they had a woman that could compete with Oliha's jewel of inestimable value.
As time went by, Oba Ẹsigie had some scores to settle with Chief Oliha. The king decided to hit his Chief where it mattered most.
Conniving with palace staff and some mischievous members of his cabinet, Oba Esigie set out to investigate Imaguero’s major weakness.
In no time, he discovered that she was just as vain as the next pretty woman. She loved "things". Imaguero particularly loved expensive coral beads. She couldn't get enough of them.Those close to her knew it was her worst distraction.
Oba Esigie didn't waste much time. He summoned one of his porters, an elderly lowlife commoner, a cripple for that matter, called Uke, for the errand.
The king gave him a few coral beads and agate, with strict orders to tempt Imaguero.
The porter set about his task.
The servant was able to seduce and win Imaguero, the perceived faithful wife of the proud Chief Oliha. She fell quickly, after accepting expensive, royal coral beads and agate.
The handicapped servant ravished her beautiful body to maximum satisfaction.
Having successfully carried out the mission, he returned to the king, who appreciated Uke's effort.
In the meantime, Ọba Ẹsigie patiently waited for a dramatic moment to finish with the plot.
One day when all the chiefs were assembled and conversing, as usual, Chief Oliha began to boast about his wife again.
Fascinated by Oliha's ignorance, the king summoned his disabled porter.
In front of the entire assembly of Chiefs, he instructed the porter to tell the tale of Imaguero’s successful seduction for the sake of a few coral beads and agate stones.
Everyone was shocked! Of course, they mocked Oliha for trusting a beautiful woman too much.
Humiliated that Imaguero slept with a cripple, Chief Oliha returned home in pain, shame and anger.
When he entered his matrimonial home, his emotions got the better of him. In that mood, he presented to her a symbolic pot of death. The pot of sword and poison. Consequently, he slew the love of his life.
Imaguero died a brutal death by strangulation.
Embittered by the shame, Chief Oliha decided to get even with Oba Esigie. His plan was to dethrone the king.
He knew he wouldn't get support from the king's subjects and so he instigated the Attah of Idah against the Oba, by turning both leaders against each other through disinformation
Chief Oliha informed the Attah that the Oba was preparing to wage war on Idah. In the same vein, Oba Esigie was told that the Attah was gearing up for an offensive on Edo kingdom.
The Idah war was fierce...
The war ended in the defeat of the Idahs.
The use of guns purchased from the Portuguese may have aided the crushing defeat inflicted on the Idahs. It was during the reign of Esigie that guns were introduced for the first time into the kingdom. It was to avoid a future incursion into Edo land, that
led to the establishment of garrison towns.
I know what you are thinking.
Why is history kind to Imaguero if she was an unfaithful wife?
Why was a Teacher Training College named after her?
Well, her end may as well be a reminder to us not to trust anyone totally.
LESSONS TO LEARN:
A reminder that there's always a price tag.
A reminder of the need to stay humble and not brag about what you have just to torture others emotionally.
A reminder that there are consequences for unfaithfulness.
COURTESY: PRINCE LAMBERT
After pushing Idah back and defeating their insurrection , Oba Esigie set up a camp (Garrison) of great warriors, soldiers and Generals at the Bank of River Nigeria , overlooking Idah, to ward off future aggression from Idah and to enforce payment of homage. That camp was called Agonebode, today a big town called Agenebode.
DO YOU KNOW THAT?
The Oldest Surviving Kingdom in the World is Great Benin Kingdom and is 2054 years Old. The Ogiso dynasty lasted for about 854 years plus an interregnum of 285 years between the reign of Ogiso Orire and Ogiso Odia, there was an interregnum of 70 years between Ogiso Owodo and Oba Oranmiyan plus 845 years of Oba ruler-ship till date.
1. The First Storey Building in Nigeria was built at Ughoton by the Dutch in the year 1718, and it was called “The Factory”. The said building was destroyed by the British during the war against the Benins in 1897. The site of the building is still intact.
2. The Oldest Church in West-Africa was established in Great Benin Empire by the Earliest Portuguese missionaries in the 16th Century which is today known as the Holy Aruosa (Benin National Church). Pope Pius XII visited Benin and handed the church to the Oba of Benin, Oba Oreoghene in 1692AD.
3. The first Known Embassy Established in Nigeria was in Benin during the reign of Oba Esigie in the 16th century.
4. Elaba is the only Chieftaincy title in Benin Kingdom in whose presence the Oba’s Sword bearer (Omada) would ceremonially hold the Oba’s symbol of Authority(Ada) upside down
5. Oba Orhogbua is the first literate king ever recorded in the present day West-Africa.
6. Chief Ogiamien is one of the Uzama N’Ibie (Uzama Minor), the council was created by Oba Esigie.
7. The Oldest known letter written in Nigeria was by Duarte Pires instructed by Oba Esigie which was addressed to King John II, on the 20th October, 1516AD. The second oldest letter was written by Anthonio Domingo (Great-grand Son of Oba Olua) to the Pope to seek for missionary assistance in other to spread Christianity in Benin Empire in 1652AD.
8. Oba Orhogbua founded Lagos and planted a dukedom, the Obaship of Lagos (Eko).
9. Oba Orhogbua introduced the common salt from his numerous voyage to Benin Cuisine in replacement of our traditional organic salt (Obu).
10. The word Okoro means prince in Benin and Uvbi as princess.
11. Oba Orhogbua is the first Sailor king in the present day West-Africa.
12. They are five fighting Empire building Obas of Benin, Oba Ewuare I, Oba Ozolua, Oba Esigie, Oba Orhogbua and Oba Ehengbuda N’Obo.
13. Oba Ehengbuda was the last Oba of Benin to lead the Benin armies physically in battle.
14. Ogiso Odoligie and Oba Esigie were regarded as the redeemer kings because of their pre-ordination by God.
15. Ogiso Orriagba created the college (council) of the hereditary Uzama Chiefs.
16. The last Ogiso palace was located in the present day Ring-Road where the National museum is sited and it was called “Ogbe Ogiso”
17. Oldest ever recorded market in Africa is Ogiso (Agbado) Market dated 60BCE.
18. Ekpeye, Ogba and Iwurhuohna people of River State are children of Akalaka a Benin warrior that migrated from Benin to found their present location during Oba Ewuare I reign.
19. Onitcha town was founded by Benin royal house who migrated during Oba Esigie reign.
20. The shortest Oba that reigned in Great Benin kingdom was Oba Ezoti (14 days) 1473-1473AD.
21. They are three usurpers to the revered Benin throne, Oba Uwaifiokun (1430-1440), Oba Ozuere (1712-713) and Oba Ogbebo (1816-1816)
22. The longest Oba that reigned in Great Benin Kingdom was Oba Akengbuda (54 years) 1750-1804AD.
23. The oldest crown prince (crown prince Osifo) to become an Oba of great Benin was later crowned as Oba Obanosa.
24. Oba Akengbuda relocated from the palace to Ogbe N’Alaka to pave way for his son, crown prince Osifo (Oba Obanosa) to become an Oba i.e two Oba’s in one kingdom (Benin).
25. The first ever recorded bank (Owigho) in present day West-Africa was built in Benin kingdom by Oba Eresoyen, construction started in the year 1740AD and was completed in the year 1743AD.
26. Oba Akengboi kept his hair like a Rastafarian Benin call Agbihiagha.
27. Oba Ahenkpaye was dethroned because of his selfishness and ruthlessness by chiefs of Benin Kingdom.
28. Isi Aghadahomen, corrupted as Dahommey was a name of Esan General who led Benin warriors to conquer present day republic of Benin. The country was named in 1975 after their former colonial master. Great Benin Kingdom.
29. Oba Esigie created the school of astrology (Iwoki) and was the first man to speak a foreign language (Portuguese) in Nigeria in the year 1518AD.
30. Queen Idia (Oba Esigie mother) is the first Oba’s mother to be alive to see her son becoming an Oba. That’s because traditionally previous Crown prince mothers were killed before their Sons ascend the throne.
31. Oba Ewuare I conquered more than 201 towns and villages during his reign. This remarkable feat earned him the title Ewuare Ogidigan (Ewuare the great).
32. Iyase, Esogban, Eson and Osuma are referred to as the four Cardinal chiefs (Eghaevbo N’ore)
33. Since Oba Ewedo relocated the palace from Usama to Ogbe only four Oba’s were not buried at Ogbe. Hence “Aiguoba vbie Ogbe” (no one sleep at ogbe except the oba)
34. Agbodo mystically was buried at ogbe (he is the only man to ever achieve that feat after Oba Udagbedo enacted a law of nobody aside the Oba can be interred at Ogbe quarter)
35. Great benin kingdom has been ruled by 71 kings (documented) and 21 kings(undocumented) and two documented administrators (Evian and Agho Obaseki)and about 12 undocumented administrators
36. Ga tribe of present day Ghana migrated from Benin during Oba Udagbedo reign (1299-1334)
37. Oba Ahenzae is the youngest Oba to be crowned.
38. Between Oba Ahenzae and Oba Ewuakpe the Oba-ship was rotated amongst different branches of the royal family for six reigns.
39. Oba Akenzua I is the richest monarch that ever ruled in Benin kingdom. Hence nicknamed Akenzua N’Isonorho (Akenzua, the money raining sky).
40. Oba Ewuakpe enforced the primogeniture Law in Benin Empire, called the Atoro oath. N.B: primogeniture had started during Ogiso Orriagba but was not consistent
41. The 39 Obas in second dynasty all ruled averagely in 22 years (excluding the present Monarch)
42. Ogiso Igodo or Obagodo is the oldest king that has ever ruled Benin Kingdom across the two dynasties, he reigned for 56 years.
43. Oduduwa was the exiled crowned prince from Benin known as Ekaladerhan, which is being purported as the progenitor of the Yoruba race.
44. The 31 Ogiso’s in the first dynasty all ruled in average of 28 years (excluding the 285 years of interregnum).
45. Prince Akennuzama rejected to be crowned as Oba of Benin instead asked the elders to crown his son Idova in his place because of his old age. Prince Idova was crowned as Oba Ewuakpe.
46. The monarch of Warri kingdom is an off shoot of the royal house of Benin kingdom founded by prince Iginuwa the Son of Oba Olua in the 15th century.
47. The Osemawe of Ondo was corrupted from Osemwughe, the Benin warrior who deserted Udo town, when there was war between Benin City and Udo town.
48. The word Ondo was corrupted from the town “Emwan N’Udo” (people of Udo town)
49. The world most famous mask Queen Idia mask was the face of FESTAC 77’ held in Lagos.
50. Ezomo is the last amongst the Uzama N’ihinron that was made hereditary by Oba Akenzua I.
51. The first Edaiken of Uselu is Crown prince Kuobuyuwa, son of Oba Ewuare I.
52. The word Benin was corrupted from Ubini by the Portuguese explorer meaning “a place of heavenly pageantry and prosperity”
53. Ohen Okun, Olokun priest of Ughoton is the first known Diplomat of Nigeria origin to Europe, who was sent as a Benin ambassador by Oba Esigie in the year 1526AD, hence the first man to be exposed to western education
54. Affonso .D. Aveiro is the first ambassador from Europe to Benin and first in Nigeria.
55. Olu Atuwatse (Dom Domingo) Son of Crown Prince Ginuwa and grand Son of Oba Olua who was sent to Portugal in 1601 for advanced studies by his Grandfather, the reigning Oba. He graduated from the University of Coimbra in 1611. He is the first person to obtain a European university degree in present day Nigeria. He later married the daughter of a Portuguese noble, Dona Feirs. Their son Antonio Domingo referred to in Benin History as the Golden Skinned king, succeeded him to the throne in 1643.
56. Oba Esigie is the first King in Africa to be baptized in the year 1504AD.in Benin.
57. Oba Ozolua N’Ibaromi was the father of Alani of Idoani, Olowo of Owo, Uguan of Ora and Eze of Aboh.
58. Oba Esigie created the title of Iyoba nu’Uselu (Queen Mother of Uselu).
59. The King of Benin can in a single day make 20,000 men ready for war, and, if need be, 180, 000, and because of this he has great influence among all the surrounding peoples … His authority stretches over many cities, towns and villages. There is no King thereabouts who, in the possession of so many beautiful cities and towns, in his capital – Olfert Dapper, description of Africa, 1668.
60. According to the Guinness Book of Records (1974 edition) described the walls of Benin City and its surrounding kingdom as the world’s largest earthworks carried out prior to the mechanical era.
61. According to estimates by the New Scientists Fred pearce, Benin City’s walls were at one point “four times longer than the great wall of China, and consumed a hundred times more material than the Great Pyramid of Cheops”
62. Benin City is surrounded by massive walls dug by Oba Oguola in 13th century and Oba Ewuare I in the 15th century.
63. Great Wall of Benin extended for some 16,000km in all, in a mosaic of more than 500 interconnected settlement boundaries. They covered 6, 500sq km and were all dug by the Edo people.
64. The Great wall of Benin took an estimated 150million hours of digging to construct, and are perhaps the largest single archaeological phenomenon on the planet.
65. Benin City is the first City to have a semblance of street lighting in the world.
66. The Portuguese were the people who called our land “Great City of Benin” because they were astonished with what they saw that the Edo people achieved centuries before any major cities in the world.
67. 1n 1691, the Portuguese ship captain Lourenco Pinto observed: “Great Benin, where the king resides, is larger than Lisbon; all the streets run straight and as far as the eyes can see.
68. In ancient times there were no doors in Great Benin because it was so secure that the people didn’t bother about doors and windows.
69. The Benins are the best bronze casters (Igun – eronmwon) in the world.
70. In the golden age, Oba Ewuare I changed Benin into a city states from a military fortress built by Ogiso.
71. Two kings were installed without a crown, Ogiso Igodo (40BC-16AD) and Oba Oranmiyan (Odolorre) 1170-1200AD.
72. The present palace has been burnt down three times, Prince Ogun who later became Oba Ewuare I, Oba Ogbebo and lastly the British military fiasco.
73. The first palace in Benin Kingdom was located at Ugbekun quarters built by Ogiso Igodo in about 40-42BC.
74. The progenitor of the Benin race is known by the earliest Benin oral documentary as “PA IDU”
75. Great Benin is known as the cradle of Black civilization and the centre of the world (Edorisiagbon).
76. Igodomigodo was the former name for what we now call “Edo land”.
77. The Benin were the first to use sophisticated weapons (guns) to fight war(Idah war) in the present day Nigeria in about 501 years ago (August, 1516), the war was led by Oba Esigie mother (Queen Idia).
78. No female King has ever ruled Benin kingdom across the Two dynasties, the purported female Ogiso Emose(584-600AD) and Orrorro(600-618AD) are male kings on coronation, took over their mothers name.
79. All Oba’s in Lagos(Eko) were all buried in their ancestral home (Benin City) until late 19th century, to further lay credence to that Oba Osemwende in 1834 instructed Idewu Ojulari, the Oba of Lagos to zegbele(kill himself) the instruction was, expectedly, complied with. The Lagos Oba complied by taking poison.
80. Prior to present day civilization/infrastructural developments, ten gates/ roads historically led into Benin City. They are: 1). Akpakpava (Ikpoba) Road 2). Irhuase (Ogba). 3). Imose(Sapele). 4). Okhoro Road 5). Ughoton Road 6). Udo Road 7). Ugbor Road 😎. Uhunmwun Idunmwun Road 9). Uselu (Oyesunu) Road. 10). Utantan (Esokponba) Road.
Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA), an Organisation designed to promote the empowerment of all Edo indigenes
Join us in the fight against Corona virus that has also led to hunger virus in the life of our Indigenes as a result of the lock down and social distancing.