One of the reactions to last week’s column was a phone call I got from Mr. George in Port Harcourt (090 -9344-4918), who said he was not a Benin man, but agrees with the Oba of Benin, His Majesty Erediauwa that Oduduwa, the Yoruba progenitor, was a Benin prince originally known as Ekhaladeran who migrated to Ile-Ife and changed his name. He is of this opinion because the Yorubas claim that Oduduwa was not born by a human being, but was lowered into Ile-Ife by Almighty God with a chain. He says since no one on earth has ever been created this way, that meant the Yorubas came up with story because they do not know the origin of their ancestor. The same reason Oba Erediauwa gave for coming up with his Ekhaladeran account.
As I told George, the story in history books is that Oduduwa came from Saudi Arabia or Egypt to Ile-Ife the chain account was one by Ife people to present Oduduwa, who is also said to be first king of their town as a special human being and the number one favourite of the Heavenly Father. They even claim he was the first person the Lord created and not Adam and Eve as reported in Genesis Chapters 1:26-31 and 2:1-16 in the Holy Bible.
Without doubt, it was the often repeated statements of the immediate past Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, in the 1980s that the Oba of Benin was a descendant of Oduduwa and the third in rank among Yoruba obas that mad Oba Erediauwa to come out with the story of Ekhaladeran in his autobiography. But he had to do so more importantly because of a book: A short History of Benin, published in 1953 by Benin-born Chief Jacob U. Egharevba (1893 – 1980), who said Benin was founded by one of Oduduwa’s sons known as Obagodo, who was also the first monarch of the Ogiso dynasty, who was sent out by his father to establish the kingdom. So, which of the books by Oba Erediauwa and Chief Egharevba can be regarded as authentic when the issue is considered dispassionately? I believe it is Egharevba’s.
Egharevba was Benin’s foremost historian and the first person to write a book on the origin of the Binis. His biography on the internet shows that he began interviewing the elderly ones in Benin about the history of their people in 1914, meaning that he carried out his research over a period of thirty-nine years before writing and publishing his book in 1953. It therefore goes without saying that if the Ekhaladeran story had existed before he wrote his book that it was what Egharevba would have come out with, not the Obagodo one. It is also beyond argument that if Egharevba’s story was not true, that Oba Akenzua, who ruled Benin from 1933 – 78 and the father of Oba Erediauwa, would not have conferred him with a chieftaincy title.
According to Oba Erediauwa Egbarevba came up with the Ile-Ife origin of the Binis because his mother was a Yoruba woman from Akure and that he was therefore an Edo ne’kue, not a full- blooded Benin man. Edo ne’kue is the name given by Benin people to those whose parents are from Benin and Akure. Oba Erediauwa said if Egharevba was not influenced by his Edo ne’kue background that Benin was founded by an Ife prince, then the editors of his book, whom the monarch called the experts in the University of Ibadan must have been responsible for the misinformation and misrepresentation. In other words, Oba Erediauwa is implying that the lecturers in the Department of History at the institution who edited Egharevba’s script were Yorubas. The information available on the two issues do not support these royal suppositions.
To be continued next week Wednesday
Dealing with Anele’s reaction to his antichrist views (3)
I find it unbelievable that instead of making his points on issues or in responding to his critics in decent and cultured language, that Professor Douglas Anele is fond of abusing people, and in an unbecoming manner for that matter. It is unfortunate that a man of his high academic attainment and one who unusually in column writing, advertises himself in the logo of his column as a Ph.D. degree holder of the Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos, is the one who engages in using loathsome words and sentences in reacting to the critics of his articles.
For samples, he had this on Christians in one paragraph in his column in the Sunday Vanguard of April 10, 2016: ‘’Believers who dogmatically assert the historicity of the New Testament particularly the four Gospels, are simply naïve and pathetically ignorant.” In another paragraph he wrote: ‘’ Scholars who devoted themselves to New Testament research, not ignorant and knuckle- headed bigots ready to pounce and abuse those that do not share their antiquated superstitious views about Jesus, accept that the Gospels are overwhelmingly theological documents, not veridical historical accounts of actual events.”
The following week, on Sunday, April 17, Anele again came up with tirades against two critics who reacted to his insulting and disparaging comments on Almighty God, Jesus Christ, Christianity and Christians. He wrote: “I have been bombarded with stupid, completely irrational, irresponsible and even threatening messages because of my critical stance towards Christianity. For example, one faceless half-baked champion of Christianity who claims to be Emeka, from Enugu, after making idiotic and derogatory remarks about me, questioned my intellectual capacity to challenge the fundamental doctrines of his Christian faith. “Another australopithecine stated that I would never dare criticize Islam and its founder Mohammed, because some mentally deranged Muslim would make me pay dearly for it.
Continues next week Wednesday