{Benin City, Nigeria Local Time}
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By Paul Osa Igbineweka (Last Update October 9, 2022)

Ọba Ẹwuare before he became Ọba was known as Ogun (Oogun). When it was time to ascend the throne some people led by Ogiefa conspired with his younger brother Uwaifiokun to usurp the throne as Ogun (Oogun) had gone to war on expansion of the frontiers of the empire. He would visit intermittently and had friendly contacts with Emotan and Ẹdo (servant of Ogiefa) who leaked their plans. Ogiefa had cunningly connived with the usurpers and had Oogun hidden in an empty cistern (well) as if helping him, whereas, it was a plot to have him killed. But Ẹdo leaked the plan and made Oogun escaped from the dried cistern (Well) that was covered with leaves. Ogiefa was furious and killed Ẹdo as one who must have leaked the plot. When Oogun had succeeded to escape he reinforced his army and launched an attack by defeating the opponents and arch rival to the throne. The storm was over and became calm (Oworuare= Ẹwuare - plural). When he ascended the Throne he initiated the Iguẹ festival to remember how he survived the onslaught of opponents, and the period he went into hunting during war to kill a leopard with bow and arrow that went up to kill a leopard but returned after hitting the leopard only to be found that on landing, the arrow pierced to the ground the head of a Viper. He read meaning to it as a sign to conquer his enemies. As he initiated the Iguẹ Festival to thank God and ancestors he had in his harem the first two of his wives (queens), Ubi and Ẹwerẹ of the same parents (Ogieẹkae - Enogie of Ẹkae). However, their character were never the same. Ubi was recalcitrant, rude, stubborn and intolerant. While Ẹwerẹ was lovely, kind, peaceful and generous. Ẹwerẹ could not find loving relationships with Ubi, she would remember their younger sister Ọyọyọ, and would cry all day long. That Ọba Ẹwuare would inquire about the cause of her cry and why she was not happy. She later opened up, that missing her younger sister Ọyọyọ was the reason for her cry and unhappiness despite the presence of her elder sister Ubi. Thereafter, Ẹwerẹ was consoled that Ọyọyọ would come. Then Ẹwerẹ was presented before the King in his chamber with the promise that Ọyọyọ would arrive soon. Hence the song followed: Arhie Ẹwerẹ gie Ọmọ vb'ugha o, Ẹwerẹ ghe Ọyọyọ o! (We have presented Ẹwerẹ to the King in his chamber, Ẹwerẹ Look at/see Ọyọyọ).

Ubi could no longer contain how she became ostracised and ignored by reason of her behaviour. Which later led to her exit from the palace. That was an instance of how Ọba Ẹwuare got married to Three Sisters, but Ubi did not remain in the harem.

Ubi became a symbol of evil and banishment of evil from the land, while Ẹwerẹ became symbol of peace, happiness and good fortune for bringing Ọyọyọ to the King as wife.

Oba Ẹwuare later incorporated Ebe Ẹwerẹ (Ẹwerẹ leaves) to honour Queen Ẹwerẹ into the Iguẹ festival as one of fortune that favoured him while hiding under the Ẹwerẹ leaves to escape ambush of war in his many escapades and by coincidence became smoothness in dealings with the songs:

1. Arhie Ẹwerẹ gie Ọmọ vb'ugha o, Ẹwerẹ ghe Ọyọyọ o! (We have presented Ẹwerẹ to the King in his chamber, Ẹwerẹ look/see at Ọyọyọ).
2. Ẹwerẹ, Ẹwerẹ, gbe arhiẹ rhiẹ, Arhiẹ rhiẹ gbẹ arhiẹ rhiẹ (fortune brings/brought smoothness) no more trouble. Ẹwerẹ leaves became symbol of fortune shared as a sign of peace and fortune to herald the coming year for fortune and prosperity.

Ubi became a symbol of banishing evil from the land, to even banish the devil with fire sticks, burnt maize or corn, dirt and discarded things thrown away at the outskirts of village to banish the devil from the village which were later burnt at the place so designated at the outskirts of the community.

Ubi: was intolerant, harsh and evil of not having peace with anyone. We must try to accommodate in spite of what we face as challenge and let go what you have no power to change.

Ubi was sent out with ignominy.

Ẹwerẹ: was peaceful, tolerant, and could accommodate to the extent of letting her tolerance reach out to her younger sister with bond of love and intimacy. She was a bundle of fortune.

Ẹwerẹ was sustained because she brought fortune and glad tidings.
Ọyọyọ: a readily acceptance disposition create way for joy to be sustained within a loving circle of tolerance.

Ọyọyọ was welcome for honouring the King's invitation to be Queen.
Do we see this last two lessons playing out a repeat in our time? Your guess is as good as mine for the same name that ascended the Throne long ago. Ọba ghatọ ọkpẹre, Isẹẹ!

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