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Oba Oronmiyan
{The link between the old Monarchy of Ogiso and the new Monarchy of Obas of Benin}
(1170 A.D-1200A.D)
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Ikaladerhan then Ododuwa of Uhe (Ife) was about 70 years old and was too old to undertake the long journey to Igodomigodo. When he gave this excuse, pressure was mounted on him by the edionisen to send his son. He felt very reluctant sending his son too. He feared the safety of his son and needed some .guarantee. In order to test the sincerity of the Edionisen and know their ability to cater for his son, according to J. U. Egharevba, some lice were given to Oliha to look after. Eghaievba further cites tradition as saying that Oliha was able to send back the lice to Ododuwa (Ikaladerhan) at Uhe, after three years. It was this ability of Oliha to preserve the lice that gave Oliha the appellation Ogele or O
gele muu Odu. He is today called Oliha ‘ne ogele’as his praise name. After this feat, Ikaladerhan acceded to the request to send his son Oranmiyan called Omonoyan by the Binis to Igodomigodo.Oromiyan entourage included amongst others the Edigin Ilawure Ihama and Ezima. They accompanied him to Igodomigodo. They entered Igodornigodo through the Western route via Iyekovia. Ilawure and Ezima stayed off at Usen and Okemuen respectively and settled there. It was as from River Ovia that Oromiyan started feeling the resistance of those protesting against his coming.The ferryman refused crossing him until pressure was put on him by Edionisen.

The city, Irebor the Ogiearnien mobilized his supporters to stop Oromiyan from entering the city. When the Edionisen heard of this, they kept Oromiyan and entourage at Ego. The Enogie of Ego took care of him, while the Edionisen prepared his palace at Usama. He was here for some years. ‘He was not however crowned because of the enormous problems created by Ogieamien and his supporters

Irebor continued to rule almost half of the kingdom as an administrator. He surrounded himself with soldiers and declared his new title hereditary. With the hope of passing it to his descendants who would also rule like he had done. He resisted all attempts by the Edionisen to disposes him of the Ogiso’s stool.

The inability of the Edionisen to wrest the land and Ogiso’s properties from Irebor created difficulties for Oromiyan. He was living in fear and suspicion of the people. He could not successfully adapt himself to his new status despite the great support the Edionisen gave to him. He had problem of communicating with people, because of lack of understanding of Edo language.

Prince Oranmiyan, unable to bear the animosity for very long, renounced his office and called Igodomigodo land, Ile Ibinu (meaning a land of annoyance and vexation).  He declared that only a child of the soil, educated in the culture and traditions of Igodomigodo could rule the kingdom.

Meanwhile, he fell in love with the daughter of Ogie Ego named Erinmwinde who had a male child for him. By this Eririmwinde became the mother of the first crowned Oba of Evbuoto.

If Oranmiyan was not related to the Edo royal household, why was he not given a princess as his partner? The woman who allegedly bore him a son was a lowly chief’s daughter. This is the quotation  historians are asking those who question  Oduduwa Benin roots.

Oromiyan decided to go back home as he could not rule successfully especially because of the resistance put up by Ogieamien and his supporters.

The edionisen then waited for his child to grow up so that he can assume the throne. At first, the child could not speak and the oracle consulted.

It prescribed the performance of some rites and the playing (akhue) marble by the young prince. After the rites, while playing the marble, he uttered the word owomika meaning “I captured it” when he struck the only remaining marble.

His curious expression the Yoruba was as a result of his training in Yoruba language by Edigun at Use, who was one of those who came from Uhe with Oromiyan. Since then, Use became a place where all Obas perform the marble playing ceremonies preceding their taking of titles, After Oromiyan had left, the Edionisen busied themselves with training the young prince in the mysteries of Ubani or Evbuoto kingship. They suspended all their political differences until the prince was old enough to take his father’s place and crown Old Ogieamien was a very strong and indomitable ‘character. He was determined not only to rule but also to ensure that Ogieamien became a hereditary title to be used by his descendants. Over his area when he died, he was succeeded by his son who went by the same title Ogieamien. He was not as able and forceful as his father. This character made him to start losing supporters to the young prince who had grown up and crowned, king of Igodomigodo.

The opinion of the people about Oronmiyan as a Yoruba man who came to Evbuoto as an inviter or as conqueror stated to be corrected. The edionisen were able to convince the people that Oronmiyan was a son of Ikaladerhan who became Ododuwa of Ife and that they wanted the continuity of the monarchy though the system of primogeniture.. But not all were convinced and accepted the newly installed monarchy of Ubini. Those who opposed the new monarch, that it is Ife off shoot, did not allow the remains of any Oba to be buried in Ubini. This was why the remains of any Oba was carried to where Oromiyan was buried at Ife and the place was known as “Orun Oba Ado “Heaven of the king of Edo”

To the Edionisen (King makers) and their supporters who were more than Ogieamien followers, were fully aware of the fact that prince Oromiyan was Ikaladerhan’s son. Ikaladeran was the only son of Ogiso Owodo who became Ododuwa of Uhe, hence the rightful heir to Benin throne. That is why they brought his son to come and continue the line of his father.

Oronmiyan was therefore the link between the old monarchy of Ogiso and the new monarchy of Obas of Benin. Oromiyan was not a foreign, invader who haven failed, assigned his infant son to the task. The Edionisen were instrumental to Oromiyan’s coming, having been sent by Ododuwa (Ikaladerhan) on their .The Edionisen wanted to preserve the royal line as best as they could. If Oromiyan was a foreign invader, it would have been impossible for his infant son to be given so much care and protection in the midst of anti-royalist who were opposed to the restoration and his installation and rule as a king.

If they were not aware that it was the kingly blood of Owodo that was still running in the veins of the young infant price, he would not had lived to become a king. It is unthinkable that 31 kings had ruled for almost 2000years -40B.C-1100A.D. succeeding each other on the principle of primogeniture and for the same people to go to a foreign land to bring a foreigner to come and rule over them in fact to happen. Hence one is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Oromiyan was a son to Ikaladerhan who became Ododuwa of Uhe.

The Yoruba themselves said that Oduduwa came from the East and he was great spiritualist whereas Benin is East of Yoruba area and Ikaladerhan exile conceded with that period of the arrival of Ododuwa in Yoruba land.

"I therefore stand before you today as the 40th Oba of Benin.A direct descendant of Oromiyan, the son of Oduduwa who the Benin people of that era knew as Ekharaderan, their self exiled Prince who later became   ruler in IIe Ife, the Benin people recognized Oduduwa and his origin but it is not in our place to force this recognition on others outside our boundaries. The history of the world, is a shared one and they will certainly be unexpected connections in future. This is a time for unity and not divisiveness’. A time for mutual respect, recognizing that our wholeness as equals is so much more than some of our past."

Oba Ewuare II

"The Yoruba story about Oduduwa is extremely thin on substance.  What we have is wrapped largely in myths, parables, and folktales.  In fact, the most generous way to describe the story is that the Yoruba do not know anything about their highly revered progenitor.   Oduduwa himself left a tell tale evidence of his ancestry in his lifetime.  He reserved a special seat in his palace for his ancestors, which only the Bini monarch can sit on even now.  No other human, whether Arab, Eskimo, Alaafin, Ooni, or Yoruba, (bleached or not), can sit on the seat.  Despite this vivid evidence that has survived through the centuries, some Yoruba historians still claim that he was from somewhere in Arabia."

NAIWU OSAHON Hon. Khu Mkuu (Leader, Pan-African Movement world-wide)

"The truth of the matter is that even if anyone rejects the fact “that Ife Monarchy is derived from Igodo monarchy”, it changes nothing about the reality that the Monarchy in Benin City is still Number One among Oduduwa’s children. I mean: let it be assumed that Oduduwa came from Egypt, Mecca, Sudan, Ethiopia (where the Oromo Region has a nationality fraction called Oromiyas) or from Orun, as heaven or a place we do not know, with a chain made of iron if not some other metal, it does not change the fact that the dumb one who learnt to talk by naming himself Owomika, ‘my hand has stuck it’, the first Benin monarch after the Ogisos, was the first child of Oramiyan whose children built the empires that our part of the world remembers."

Odia Ofeimun, a poet, Essayist, political and cultural historian
Benin Kingdom Vs Yoruba Race: Why Oba of Benin Is Number One >>

“The Awori’s and Bini’s are known to be the first settlers of the Eko land. The Awori’s are speakers of a distinct dialect close to that of the Yoruba language with a rich Bini mixture. Traditionally, Awori’s were found in Ile-Ife, they were known to be the Bini’s who followed their self-exiled Prince, the first son of the Ogiso (now called Oba) of Benin Kingdom, whose step-mother was after his head.“The exiled Benin Prince Izoduwa known to the Yorubas as Ooduwa (Oduduwa) was made ruler of the Ife people due to his powers and followers from the Great Benin-Kingdom.“Izoduwa (Ooduwa) was made the first King of Ile-Ife in 1230 AD. His followers from his father’s Kingdom in Benin are the today’s Awori people who settled in Eko now called Lagos.

Oba Rilwan Akiolu the Oba of Lagos

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