TODAY as the Benin Royal Monarch Oba Erediauwa adds another one year to his age our Palace correspondent, Raymond Osogbe reflects on the monumental contribution of the universally applauded Oba to humanity and the entire society.
Indeed, suffice it to say that, Oba Erediauwa is an ICON, whose footprints remain indelible in the sand of times.
He, as matter of fact, belongs to the generation of traditional rulers that could be referred to as intellectuals that are highly baked in bureaucracy.
The Oba is a positive mixed grill whose experience and influence cut across a broad spectrum of the Nigerian society.
An old boy of Edo College, Benin City and Alumnus of the famous Cambridge University, no doubt he had a thorough and tough intellectual baptism early in life.
This background was re-enforced when the Oba started his bureaucratic career as an Assistant District Officer (ADO) in the then Eastern Region.
From these he moved into the main stream of the federal civil service when Nigeria attained her independence in 1960.
It is fundamental to reflect that the Benin Monarch, which is a first class national traditional ruler, through dint of hard work and exemplary leadership, later rose in the federal civil service to the distinguished position of Permanent Secretary. His era in the service is often and still referred to as golden and flourishing.
As a super permanent secretary that traversed crucial ministries such as health, power and cabinet office, it could be said that the Oba Erediauwa belongs to corps of technocrats that formulate and implement sound policies that transits Nigeria forward and still sustaining the nation.
As the permanent secretary in the cabinet office during the Nigerian civil war, the Oba discharged silent onerous task of helping to keep Nigeria one.
No wonder, even then and now the royal monarch does not shy away from making known his stand on crucial national matters that bothers on peace and unity.
And our findings revealed that, the monarch contributions to such crucial national issues are not only applauded but positively oriented, devoid of colouration and emotion.
A time we are not likely to forget in a hurry is during the Abacha locust years. Oba Erediauwa added sanctity and dignity to royalty when he refused, unlike others to be an apologist of the then dreaded Gen. Sani Abacha administration.
It is indeed in marble and record that when the revered monarch had the cause to visit Aso Rock, the dreaded Abacha was rattled and confused.
The Guardian newspaper front page banner headline summarises it all “Erediauwa causes stir in Aso Rock”. This was the respected Guardian observation of what transpired in Aso Rock.
This development gave hope and courage to most pro-democracy and civil society activists of the day.
Hither-to nobody believes that any one could dare the lion of the day (Sani Abacha).
Oba Erediauwa is never tired of building bridges across the geo-political zones. I have heard him several times asking after traditional rulers in other zones from visitors to his palace.
He often refer to them as “my friend and brother”. This description, I do know is innate and sincerely expressed. I hold the view that traditional rulers should be given a defined constitutional role to play in the cause of sustaining national unity.
The fault lies in the various political divides who are always jostling to take power at all cost regardless of decorum and moral norms.
Getting on track again, the Oba is an enigma and a bundle of talent that is tested and approved.
A patient listener and a beacon of justice. Just imagine the monarch sitting for hours, I did not say minutes while resolving crucial matters in his kingdom.
This disposition is responsible for the prevalent and sustainable peace in his domain and Edo State in general.
The monarch is indeed a credible voice that attracts the attention of the mighty the low.
His voice calling on relevant authorities to pay attention to the dilapidated Benin – Ore –Shagamu – Lagos road has been very loud, clear and consistent.
It is no gainsay that, the road now receives desired attention is attributable to his constant alarm over the deplorable state of the road over time.
He has often been described as an ancient monarch with a modern heart by his enthusiasts. This is perhaps why he has publicly commended the developmental strides of Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Edo State.
The Oba is always glad with any person, irrespective of class, that is development drive.
Above all, the royal monarch brings to fore his unsurpassable passion for philanthropy as any one, who encounters him on a genuine note, will always have a good story to tell (The media inclusive).
As the Palace correspondent, I observe that the faces of the aides of the royal father are always beaming with smiles.
This is a sign of contentment. Those who serve the Oba does so with relish and imperial radiance amplifying dignity and royalty.
The Oba’s reign so far, has witnessed peace, progress and positive changes. Our prayer is that the Oba’s reign should be long and prosperous.
His positive impacts cannot actually be chronicled. Suffice it to say that, Oba Erediauwa CFR is first among equals. He is the lion of lions at home. A descendant of great and remarkable Obas, such as his immediate father, Oba Akenzua II, Oba Ovoranmwen a celebrated nationalist, who resisted colonial imperialism with all his steam and Great Oba Ewuare whom the English historians ascribe the title: “Ewuare the Great”.
It will be recalled that the Benin Oba dynasty is one of the oldest and most stable and constituent in contemporary Nigeria.
To every responsible Benin man, after Almighty God, (Udazi) the next person in order of our informed hierarchy is the Oba. May his reign be long, peaceful and progressive.
Oba Gha To Kpere Ise.
Without mincing words, there is probably no other kingdom, no empire in Africa that has attracted so much international attention such as Benin.
The Benin Artworks looted by the British plundering forces scattered all over the world is one factor that brings Benin to the fore.
According to Chief Aimiuwu, the name Benin is brand that is heralded and celebrated universally for her artistic prowess and all other forms of heroism.
In the same vein several years ago, Ling Roth in his book “Great Benin” quoted an English writer Cyril Punch as saying “I do not know why, the mere mention of the name Benin simply excites me.
Benin Kingdom is positive phenomenon that is presided over by a Great king who is holistically celebrated by all and sundry.
— Nigerian Observer