- Ogiamien family insists that the Oba of Benin signed a treaty that made him a tenant
- Royal family adds that the Oba's family are from Ile Ife
- Accuses the Oba family of distorting history
The Ogiamien family may have created a major controversy with its recent stand that the family of the Oba of Benin are tenants in the kingdom who were given a special privilege by the Ogiamien family.
There has been a seeming unending supremacy battle between the oba's family and that of the Ogiamien.
As preparations commence for the installation of Eheneden Erediauwa, the crown prince of the kingdom, that long rivalry has again reared its head.
This time, the Ogiamien family are kicking against a report, weeks ago, that allegedly paints them in bad light and seems to give the oba an edge over the family which claims to be the original owner of the traditional institution in the state.
The aggrieved family said the oba exists based on a treaty agreed to by Ogiamien Erebo and Oba Eweka 1 and formally adopted by Ogiamien Ode and Oba Ewedo in 1255AD.
It reads that every Oba of Benin had complied with this treaty.
Oba Erediauwa who just passed on, according to the family, also complied with the treaty after it was re-enacted by Ogiamien Osarobo Okuonghae in 1979.
"The Ekiokpagha treaty is the compulsory rent a new Oba-elect must pay before he is pronounced an Oba of Benin kingdom and before he is also allowed occupation of the Benin kingdom leased to Oba Eweka 1 by Ogiamien Erebo in 12.00AD.
"Put in other words, there can never, repeat, there can never be an Oba of Benin kingdom without the Ogiamien, but there can always be Ogiamien without the Oba. This is sacrosanct.
"The Ekokpagha treaty clearly defined the status of Ogiamien as aborigine and permanent landlord while the Oba of Benin kingdom as a permanent tenant," High Chief Monday Wehere, director of information and external affairs of the Ogiamien family said on Tuesday.
Giving details of how the treaty came into existence, the family said Erebo was the king of Igodomigodo, now known as Benin, when Oramiyan from Ile-Ife, a Yoruba town, came to invade and forcefully took occupation of a certain portion of the kingdom.
"The Ogiamien is the custodian of the 32 previous Ogisos that had ruled Igodomigodo and the aborigine Binis for over 300 years before the forceful introduction of obaship against the decision of the aborigine Binis while the Oba of Benin (the family) are descendants of the sixth Ooni of Ife, Oba Oramiyan, the son of Okanbi.
"Therefore, it would be difficult for Ogiamien to pledge allegiance to an invader - Oba of Benin - who is also a tenant," the family added.
The Ogiamien family also pooh-poohed a claim by the Oba of Benin that Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race, migrated from Bini.
Describing the claim as completely false, it added that the Yoruba race is older than the Bini empire before the invasion.
"Oba Eweka dynasty has no relationship whatsoever with the Ogiso/Ogiamien dynasty and they are now forcing themselves into our dynasty by fraudulently claiming that Prince Eheneden Erediauwa is now the 70th ruler of Benin kingdom.
"This is completely false. They are descendants of Oramiyan," the family said adding that to hide history, the oba dynasty stopped sending the remains of the Oba of Benin to Ile Ife upon their demise as directed by Oba Eweka 1.
The family called on Prince Eheneden to prepare for the re-enactment of the treaty with their own recognised king, Rich Arisco Osemwengie.
It also warned that any attempt to circumvent the treaty would be unacceptable.
Legit.ng had reported weeks ago that the Oba of Benin, Omo n’Oba Erediauwa Akpolokpolo I, was confirmed dead as announced by the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe.
The Benin Traditional Council formally announced the translation of the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba n’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, to his ancestors on Friday, April 29.
His translation was announced by the Prime Minister and Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, in the presence of other traditional Chiefs and Enigie (Dukes), with the traditional braking of native chalk at the entrance of the palace.