OBA OF BENIN PAYS HISTORIC VISIT TO ILE-IFE, CALLS ON PRESIDENT BUHARI, TO TACKLE THE PROBLEM OF CATTLE HERDSMEN IN NIGERIA
By: Desmond Agbama, CPS to Oba of Benin
His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin has paid a historic visit to the Ooni of Ile-Ife, His Imperial Majesty, AdeyeyeEnitanOgunwusiOjaja II in continuation of the Omo N’Oba nationwide Post-Coronation thank you tour.
The visit to Ile-Ife re-enacted the long historical and cultural affinity between the people of Benin Kingdom and the Yorubas, as it was characterised by display of rich culture and tradition of the Edos and Yorubas.
Addressing the Ooni in his palace, His Royal Majesty, Ewuare II said the visit was to appreciate the Ooni of Ife for honouring him with his presence during his Coronation, as well as to explore areas of common interest and cooperation.
The Benin Monarch used the opportunity to condemn the incessant killings of innocent Nigerians in different parts of the country, pointing out that something must be done urgently to tackle the problem posed by cattle herdsmen, before Nigeria is recolonized by cows.
While sympathising with the families who have lost their loved ones in the crisis in different parts of the country, the Oba of Benin called on President Mohammadu Buhari to as a matter of necessity deal decisively with the spate of insecurity as well as the nation’s porous border, especially in the North-East of the country to control the influx of criminal elements from other countries into Nigeria.
His Royal Majesty, Ewuare II stressed the need for traditional rulers in the country to form a common front to assist State and Federal Governments in solving the problem of cattle herdsmen and other security challenges in their various domains.
Omo N’Oba used the occasion to introduce the Face of Oba Ewuare II Foundation, Miss IfuekoAideyan and solicit for collaboration between the foundation and that of Ife to help tackle the problem of Human Trafficking and irregular migration among the people.
His Imperial Majesty, AdeyeyeEnitanOgunwusiOjaja II, the Ooni of Ife expressed joy over the visit, saying that the Edos and Yorubas are so inter related, with a common ancestral background, linked by blood and common history.
His Imperial Majesty said he would want the relationship to be solidified, while they should jointly uphold those things their ancestors did together with regards to tradition and cultural heritage.
The Ooni of Ife said as traditional rulers they must work for the welfare of their people and also support the effort of government.
The Ojaja II noted that the visit of the Oba of Benin to Ile-Ife was very significant because it coincided with the celebration of Olokun festival and prayed for the safe return of the Omo N’Oba and his entourage.
High point of the visit was the presentation of a symbolic gift of “Oromiyan” to the Oba of Benin by the Ooni of Ife, describing it as the symbol of their common ancestry and heritage.
There was cultural displays by the Inneh Theatre Troupe and Edo State Art Council, as well as that of the Ife and Yoruba Cultural Troupes.