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OG1SO OBIOYE ( ABOUT 917 A.D- 1012 A. D)
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Obioye the son of Oduwa carne to the throne at about the age of 40 years. He inherited a large kingdom that depended largely on foreign trade: His father Ogiso Oduwa had encouraged and expanded trade contacts and outlets. Due to dependence on this trade food production was neglected at home. Many people took to trading and pursuit of money and showed no interest in farming. This caused initiation in the land with many people having a lot of money but there was little food to buy with it this problem has been developing since the rein of Oduwa but became acute during the reign of his son Obioye.
The importance of agriculture as a source of food is never appreciated until there is crop famine. It is when there is crop or food scarcity that some people know the value of the production of food. This is why Benin proverbs reminds us;

“A. gha rruan gheku Vbe uko ebo
Evbare o re odion”
Meaning: If we dress like the chief
Food is the first thing in life.
The problem of inflation inherited by Obioye was further compounded by a great famine that occurred during his reign. It was so serious as to be compared to the biblical famine in Gen. 1 v.10 and Acts 7 y. 11 Things and food items became so expensive that so much money was required to buy so little.

Ogiso Obioye was born into opulence and was. Said to have been a proud man. He did not seems prepared for this kind of problems as he looked forward to a life of pleasure derived from the gains of external trade He knew nothing about the intricacies of political administration or how to boost- agricultural production. He did not seem to have any effective solutions.

These two problems gradually created political instability in the country. The Edion-vbo, Nobles, Chiefs, Okaevbo , administrators , Enigie and Edionwere alienated themselves from the services to Ogiso ‘and could not attend palace functions because they now paid more attention to their individual economic problems occasioned by the famine. More so the economic difficulties made it difficult for the people to continue to pay tributes and taxes. Since these were not available for the Chiefs, Nobles and palace to share as usual, they therefore had no reason for visiting the palace. The King himself encouraged them to go and fight the famine and inflation.

This made many people to go to the rural areas for farming the population of the villages increased tremendously. This seemed the way they could survive the devastating effects of the famine. For over five years, the situation worsened because there was scarcity of rainfall and crops could not yield abundantly as expected

People thought that this was. a curse from the heavenly body and the made sacrifice to pacify the gods of- the land and the ancestors which they thought were responsible for the great famine. When these failed, Obioye addressed self imposed rationing of whatever was available so that it could last longer for individual or families. He also implored the people to reduce the amount of food they ate, thereby saving more for another day. This he thought would reduce the urge or the propensity to eat more food their prices. He even suggested that they should be feeding once or twice a day.. They should learn how to cook soup without oil(Ukhuankhuan) if one had no palm oil, eat certain food without salt and drink much water immediately after meal.

This anti-inflationary measure are like our present day Nigeria 1986 SAP (Structural Adjustment Programmed) since which Nigeria has been taking different economic measures to cope with inflation and the devaluation o the Nigeria currencies-Naira. The famine and its problem gave rise to apopu1ar song by subject which go a long way to describe the seriousness of the situation.

The song goes thus;
Obioye rri Ogiso
Ukhuninwun khian usuanlele
Obiorno na hee orno
Igho akhua laa ob6 haanfua
Te ema unu ghi ban unu

Meaning: Obioye was crowned Ogiso
Famine followed him all the way
Parents’ now refused children
Saving pour off the hands
Food was scarce to find.

Obioye’s reign also experienced another disaster in the form of fire outbreak. Due to the lack of rainfall, the forest, trees and streams dried up and valleys began to appear in Igodomigodo kingdom small fire Outbreak spread over all the wooden area¬† and burnt¬† very where, including farm lands and the little surviving food crops and animal in it. This again was a greater disaster which further compounded problems for the people and increased hunger in the land.

There were increase infant mortalities because of lack of food to feed the young ones who were more valuable. This forced a lot of people to migrate from Igodomigodo (Evbuoto) to other parts of the kingdom that was not affected and beyond. Many moved southward towards the sea and the Niger Delta areas of the kingdom and these people formed the urhobo, Isokoand Okpe tribes of Edo Speaking people of the Delta .areas today. The inflationremained and continued to affect political and social life in Igodomigodo till the death of Ogiso Obioye. He left Igodomigodo as a kingdom in shambles.

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