• Edo declares 5 days holiday for late monarch
From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja and Tony Osauzo, Benin
THE House of Representatives yesterday mourned the passage of Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa.
The House also observed a minute silence in honour of the monarch and prayed for the repose of his soul.
This followed a motion by Omoregie Ogbeide Ihama who lamented the passing of the revered monarch, even as he extolled his virtues.
“It is painful to realise that our father and absolute monarch of the great Benin Kingdom, Oba Erediauwa has left us to be with his ancestors, leaving us without his peculiar unifying, fatherly, warm, and wise guidance and counsel. When I remember the peace and progress our kingdom experienced under his reign, and the unquantifiable legacy and memories he left us with, I am filled with pride that I not only witnessed his glorious reign but also that today I stand tall to declare my son-ship of this great royalty,” Ihama said.
According to him, the late monarch was “was a quintessential icon of royalty and splendor. We must also not forget the very key role he played during the Nigerian civil war, where in his capacity as federal permanent secretary (political) he participated actively in the “Aburi” talks which were aimed at resolving the crisis and reuniting Nigeria as one,” he said.
Meanwhile, Edo State Government has declared five days holiday starting from Tuesday in honour of the late Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa.
Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kassim Afegbua, in a statement in Benin yesterday, said only essential service providers, such as the fire service, security and health providers were exempt from observing the holiday.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole had, shortly after the weekly Executive Council Meeting, announced a mourning period of five days in honour of the late monarch and directed that national flag be flown at half-mast.
Also, first civilian governor of the state and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie- Oyegun, has described the translated, Omo N’Oba Erediauwa as a royal colossus, whose exploit in the annals of governance brought honour , dignity and candour into traditional rulership in Nigeria and beyond.
Oyegun, who stated this during a condolence visit to the Edaiken N’Uselu and Benin Crown Prince, Ehenede Erediauwa, said the late Omo N’Oba Erediauwa was a great inspiration to all those behind him during his civil service years.
Accompanied by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the APC national chairman said their visit to the Edaiken and members of the Royal family was meant to console and reassure the Edaiken of the
solidarity and support of the people.
He said as grievous as the exit of the Benin monarch may be, there was consolation in the fact that the Oba left a well-equipped, vibrant and articulate successor.
According to Chief Oyegun, with the pedigree of the crown prince as an accomplished diplomat and administrator, he has no doubt in the ability and preparedness of Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa to pilot affairs of Benin Kingdom to the desired destination.
In his response, the Edaiken said he and other members of the family were touched by the immense display and show of emotional support by the people.
He appreciated Oyegun and Ehanire for the visit and solicited the cooperation and prayers of all for a smooth and peaceful transition. In their separate remarks in the condolence register at the Edaiken Palace, they pledged their solidarity and loyalty to the Edaiken.