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Reports from Benin say His Royal Majesty Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa, the monarch of Benin Kingdom is dead. He was 92 years old.
Sources say the Oba’s death is still being kept secret because, by Benin tradition, the death of an Oba can only be officially announced 30 days after his transition.
The Oba was said to have died in his palace. Immediately he was confirmed dead by his personal physician, a delegation of senior Benin chiefs went to the house of the heir to the throne, Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, to inform him of the development.
Oba Erediauwa was born in 1923, son of Oba Akenzua II.
The Edo state government is yet to issue a statement about the demise of his Royal Majesty.
The Oba of Benin, or Omo N’Oba, is the traditional ruler of the Edo people and head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Benin Kingdom. The Benin homeland (not to be confused with the modern-day Republic of Benin, which was formerly known as Dahomey), has been and continues to be mostly populated by the Edo (also known as the Bini or Benin ethnic group).
The title of Oba was created by Oba Eweka I, the kingdom’s first ‘Oba’. The current capital is Benin City, which is in modern-day Nigeria.
In 1897, the British launched a Punitive Expedition, sacked Benin city and exiled Oba Ovonramwen, taking control of the area in order to establish the British colony of Nigeria. The expedition was mounted to avenge the defeat by the Binis of a British invasion force that had violated Benin territory earlier in 1896. It consisted of both indigenous soldiers and British officers, and is still remembered by the Edos with horror today. To cover the cost of the expedition, the Benin royal art was auctioned off by the British. Ovonramwen died in 1914, his throne never having been restored to him.
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