From TONY OSAUZO, Benin
IT was a melting pot of two cultures in Benin, the home of culture and capital of Edo State yesterday, when the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II performed the traditional marriage rites to his heartthrob, Wuraola Otiti Obanor.
The event, which had the trappings of royalty and filled with pomp, took place at the bride’s family house at Ewere Street, off Power Line, Etete, Benin City amidst drumming and dancing by troupes from Ife.
Though the Ooni was not physically present, his father, HRH Omooba Oluropo Ogunwusi stood in for him and paid the bride price to the Obanor family. His elder brother, Prince Adetunji Ogunwusi was also present to support his father.
At the completion of the marriage rites, the bride, Wuraola was presented to the Ooni family at about 12:30pm.
She was placed on the laps of the Ooni’s father after seven counts according to Benin traditional marriage rites.
Speaking to journalists later, the father of the bride, Mr. Williams Obanor, said I feel very happy. When you get a good thing in life you must be grateful to God because this is all the work of God.
I never thought it could be so, because I never thought that one of these days I will become very close to the Ooni of Ife. Now that it has happened, I feel grateful to God. So, I wish her a happy marriage.
‘My message for her is that she has to be very polite, obedient, understanding, believing much in God and whatever she needs, she will get it. If you have any problem with your husband don’t let a third person to hear of it, go to him and both of you should resolve the problem together amicably’.
Asked what gifts he has for her daughter, Obanor said, ‘We have a lot of gifts for her, but in Benin we don’t believe in giving a car or cash.
’We have what goes by our tradition, that is, we have the local mortar, broom and the pot. These are some of the things we normally send and at least a box of clothes’.
Two high ranking Benin Chiefs, Chief David Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin and Chief John Ihama, the Ihama of Benin Kingdom witnessed the marriage rites.
In his comment, Chief Ihama said, ‘it is a very good marriage we are doing here today. We are giving our daughter out to the Ooni of Ife today. We are very happy. We will take her to the royal home from Benin.”
A reception which was chaired by a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Femi Pedro, later held at Edo Hotel, Okada Avenue, Benin. Dignitaries present included the Asoya of Ile-Isoya, HRH Oba Adebanjo Adedini; the Lawarikan of Apoje in Ife Kingdom, Oba Ademola Ademiluyi; the Arode of Ife, High Chief J.A. Awe; the Lowate of Ife, High Chief Adebowale Olafare; the Waasin of Ilare Ile-Ife, High Chief Olasode Akinropo and the Loko of Ife, Chief L.O. Musideeq.