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Adelani Temiloluwa
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The 39th Oba of Benin, Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, was born in 1953. At the death of his father, he was recalled to Benin Kingdom to assume his role as the first son and heir apparent to the throne of Bini Kingdom.
The Crowned Oba is married to three wives:
Princess Iroghama, (Obazuaye N’Erie), Princess Iyayiota, (Obazuwa N’Erie)
Princess Ikpakpa (Ohe N’Erie).
It is worthy to note that his official name after his coronation is Oba Ewuare II.
His Royal Highness attended Edo College, Benin City, from 1965 to 1967, and Immaculate Conception Collage (I.C.C), Benin City, from 1968 to 1970, where he obtained his Secondary School Leaving Certificate.

After obtaining his Secondary School Leaving Certificate in 1970, His Royal Highness proceeded to England, and studied from 1971 to 1972, at South Thames College, South West London, for the General Certificate for Education (G.C.E. Advance Level).

As a result of the Oba’s love for education, he quickly applied for tertiary education and secured admission to study at the University of Wales, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, in 1973, and graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Economics (B.Sc. Econ.) in June, 1977.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince (Amb.) Eheneden Erediauwa, Edaiken N’Uselu, now knowned as Oba Ewuare II, in a quest to acquire more knowledge, proceeded to America in 1979, where he studied and obtained a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) at Rutgers Graduate School, New York, New Jersey, U.S.A., from 1979 to 1981.

It is interesting to note that His Royal Highness went further to enroll for a Doctorate degree in International Administration at the University of London, United Kingdom, but had to suspend his thesis due to family commitments.

Worthy of note about the 39th Oba of Benin is the fact that he served the compulsory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, in which he is currently a member; and participated in the Graduate Internship at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, U.S.A., as part of a post graduate training in international administration.

Since 1987, His Royal Highness, has been active in leading positions within the Nigerian business community, especially in the oil and gas industry, and prior to his diplomatic assignments as Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdoms of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, as well as Republic of Finland, Angola, Italy and Albania, served on the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and many other Company Boards.

Based on the foregoing, it is very clear that this new Oba of Benin is well armed with education and experience to take his kingdom and the entire people of Edo state to enviable heights. Without any iota of doubt, this marks a new dawn in Benin Kingdom.
Oba Ewuare II (N’ Ogidigan), Uku Apkolokpolo, the 40th Oba of Benin, is the scion of Oba Ewuare the Great (1440-1473), who reigned after Oba Uwafiokun (1443-1473) and was succeeded by Oba Ezoti (1473-1475). Ewuare the Great it was who developed the Edaiken title for the eldest son of the Oba, to stamp succession authority in the royal lineage. A warrior par excellence who built city walls, moats and boulevards within Benin City and led his army to conquer many cities and towns, up to Owo and the Niger Delta area, Ewuare the Great no doubt reincarnated in the present Oba of Benin, Ewuare II. The handsome quintessential diplomat illuminated the dark crevices of locked diplomatic channels during and after the military years, as Nigerian envoy to Angola, Italy (with concurrent accreditation to Albania), the kingdom of Sweden (with concurrent accreditation to the Scandinavian countries of the Republic of Finland and the kingdom of Denmark and Norway). Since his ascension to the throne of his forefathers two years ago, Oba Ewuare II has achieved so much within a very short time on the throne. He is development-conscious for his people.

Some imprints
He has since strongly called for the repatriation of all Benin artefacts carted away during the mindless and punitive British expedition and invasion of Benin Kingdom in 1897. He has implored the federal government to have more federal presence in Edo State. He has called upon Edo State government to introduce Benin language and history in the curriculum of schools. Using what he coined “cultural diplomacy,” Oba Ewuare called for cultural renaissance as a great tool to promote harmonious relationships, respect traditional institutions, unify the people and resolve communal and individual disputes through the principles of social justice and equity.

Disbandment Of CDAs
One of his earliest actions on being crowned on October 20, 2016, was to order the immediate disbandment of the notorious and parasitic community development associations (CDAs), a platform used by unemployed youths in virtually all the communities within Benin Kingdom to perpetrate heinous crimes. Potential investors were serially chased out with machetes, clubs and guns whenever they refused to pay huge sums of extortionist money to them. Private homes and property developers were not spared this anguish and nightmare. The Oba immediately set up a committee of intellectuals, professionals, security gurus and chiefs to map out a road map towards eliminating this anti-development menace. Yours sincerely was privileged to be part of this historic platform. The result was the Oba’s forging of a close alliance with the Edo State executive and legislative arms of government to promulgate a law criminalising and outlawing CDAs and their ill-wind deleterious effects.

Today, Edo State, especially the Benin Kingdom axis, is seen by investors that troop in as a safe haven for investment. In spite of this, His Royal Majesty, during his thank-you visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Villa, emphasised the strengthening of security in Edo State and the dire need of infrastructural development in the state.

Advocacy for Gelegele seaport development
One project quite dear to the heart of the Oba, who has since modernised the royal palace and vicinity, is the Gelegele seaport. He implored President Buhari to help develop it to open up the state to commerce and industry.

Satellite town
Perhaps the most ambitious project so far embarked upon by the Oba, and indeed any royal father anywhere in the world, is the proposed satellite town to be established at Ugoneki, in the Uhunmwonde LGA of Edo State, along the Benin-Agbor road. The proposed town, to be known as “Oba Ewuare II Satellite Town”, is to be self-sufficient, with sundry basic amenities of life and 24-hour security and power supply.

Oba Ewuare II Foundation
His focus on development led him to set up the Oba Ewuare II Foundation, which, in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), has since organised skills acquisition programmes, training over 50 youths, including returnees from Lybia. The foundation is geared towards eradicating poverty among youths and the most vulnerable of the society. It is to halt social vices, illegal

migration and human trafficking of Edo indigenes to foreign countries in the vain hope of finding greener pastures; and to provide empowerment through scholarships, skills acquisition and total liberation and re-orientation of the “get-rich-quick” mentality of the new generation.

The foundation seeks to develop Edo language and provide free feeding for the needy, with over 1,000 already fed. The revered Oba has even placed many Libya returnees on salary. He retired into the sacred realm of his ancestral abode, came out and placed a curse on human traffickers who prey on young, vulnerable and innocent ladies, with the words, “our gods will destroy you.” He even cursed native doctors who administer oath of secrecy on unsuspecting victims.

All hail a royal touch
Thus, within the short span of two years, Oba Ewuare II, like his forebear, Oba Ewuare the Great, has changed the face of the traditional institution in Nigeria, striving for development and modernism, even as he jealously guards our prime culture, customs and traditions.


culled from Vanguard and Sunonline

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