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Oba Ohenzae (1641 -1661 CE)
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was the first of the seven Obas with doubtful legitimacy. His Ezomo was called Ezomo N' Ogun. Ezomo N'Ogun was the first person in the history of Benin to propitiate his own head, (that is to give thanks to the spirit of good fortune), with a live elephant. The incidence helps to demonstrate the demoralizing effect the slave trade had on African communities through deaths, kidnappings, sacking and disappearance of towns and villages, and the truncation of African progress and civilization. Only two other Edo personages have achieved Ezomo N'Ogun's feat of using live elephant in rites. Iyase Ohenmwen achieved it some 170 years ago and Oba Akenzua II pulled it off in February 1936. Servants sent by Ezomo N'Ogun to capture a live elephant, took 14 days to come home with one. While the richly garlanded elephant, restrained with strong ropes to the legs, arms and body, was being led in procession through the streets to the ritual site, an elderly man, watching from the safety of the verandah of his home remarked rather loudly:

?What is the cause of the rejoicing of these

people over the fragment called life??

Dragged before the Ezomo for his impertinence, he pleaded to be allowed to explain himself and when allowed said:

?My Lord, what I mean is, what is the cause of the rejoicing

of these people over the fragment called life when

it is possible to capture an elephant within 14 days return journey

in the jungle between Benin City and the bank of River Ovia?

A feat that would have been impossible within such a short time

during the time of Ezomo Agban.?

The slave trade had gone on for about two hundred years at the time and had taken its toll on the populations and communities around the city of Benin, turning once lively and sprawling towns and villages during Ezomo Agban's time, into a long stretch of thick jungle. The jungle was in fact, so close, it was within 14 days return journey from the Ezomo N'Ogun's backyard in Edo kingdom. Elephants and wild lives were now the close neighbours of the Edo people who were not allowing themselves to be enslaved. Instead of punishing the old man as his persecutors had hoped, Ezomo N´Ogun thanked and rewarded him generously for his wisdom.

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