The coronation ceremony of the new Oba Of Benin climaxed on Thursday 20th October 2016 at the traditional Urhokpota hall at the Oba Ovonramhen square in Benin City, Edo State after Oba Ewuare crown was placed on his head by king makers led by Chief Oliha in the presence of dignitaries to complete the coronation rituals. The coronation ceremony which commenced some weeks back has seen the former Edaiken N Uselu/Crown Prince engaged in traditional rituals from Uselu to Benin and some moments of seclusion. Oba Ewuare 11 went through the rituals of choosing a name in the last 48 hours which produced the name Ewuare ll. Oba Ewuare 1 was a respected Oba of Benin who reigned between 1440 to 1473. The implications and rationale behind the choice of this name Ewuare is yet to be ascertained but the announcement of the name was greeted with joy and applause around the ancient city of Benin Thursday.
The occasion was greeted by dignitaries including the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo who stood in for President Mohammadu Buhari. Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the national chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress APC was on hand to welcome the Vice President at the Benin Airport with Governor Adams Oshiomhole and deputy Governor Pius Odubu beside him. Traditional rulers from all geo political zones were present as well as members of the diplomatic corps. Edo State government had earlier in the week declared Thursday 20thOctober 2016 as a public holiday in respect of the coronation and all business activities in Benin were completely shut down. Banks, markets and shops were all closed down as part of the activities marking the coronation of the new Oba.The event was celebrated with Benin’s rich traditional and cultural display by chiefs and troupes.
Oba Ewuare ll is a career diplomat and a distinguish professional. He has served as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Sweden, Angola, and Italy at different times in a diplomatic career spanning two decades. The staff of office was presented to the Oba by Governor Oshiomhole after which he delivered his acceptance speech. The new Oba accepted his new role as paramount ruler of the Binis and promised to pursue a cultural reawakening in the kingdom. “I accept in humility the destiny of expression of our culture and history of our people”, the Oba said in his speech. “Some of our eroding ideas and cultural heritage that have us proud will be reawakened and sustained with time”, he added. He also called for the reintroduction of the bini language in schools while extolling the virtue of his Father, the 39th Oba of Benin. He concluded by stressing that the palace will remain non partisan in the conduct of its affairs.