Orhionmwon Chairman to chair book launch on “Facts About Benin kingdom, Oba N’UGU Ancestry”

By DADA AYOKHAI

The Chairman of Orhionmwon local government area, Hon. Newman Ugiagbe will lead other dignitaries to the launching ceremony of a book on the Benin kingdom

Prominent Benin traditional chiefs, Enigies and cultural aficionados are expected to grace the book launch including the esteemed presence of the Enogie of Umuoghun Dukedom, Enogie Otamere Aiyevbekpen who is billed as the Royal Father of the day

The book launch is slated for Wednesday, December 20, at the Wesley Hotel, Benin.

The book titled, “Facts About Benin Kingdom: Oba N’Ugu Ancestry”, is a compelling masterpiece by an author who is not afraid of stirring debate

From the onset, it was clear the author was out to demystify some myths about the true origin of the Benin Empire.

While a significant section of the book is devoted to telling the story of the Benin kingdom as well as the history of its surrounding towns and villages, the author, however, adopted a historical perspective in doing so.

There are numerous examples of the use of local fables, historical dates, and other peculiar ancient Benin tales to buttress the author’s assertions

For example, on page 16 and pages 28 – 30, the author claims that the Ugu kingdom, the precursor of the powerful Benin kingdom, was founded in 1233 AD by Prince Idu as well as the names of the first to third list of the rulers during the interregnum

Similarly, he dared the consequences and delved into some of the obnoxious practices associated with the ancient Ugu kingdom such as the class distinction – feudalism and the rivalry, hatred, disputes, betrayals, and conquests that followed

The book, according to its author, Duke Oshodi, himself a prolific commentator and culture pundit, is the “product of some past exchanges between him and certain individuals on the need to document and also preserve the cherished ancient Benin past for the sake of the future generation”

Recently, the highly revered Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare sparked controversy when he claimed that the Benin empire played a significant role in the making of Lagos

The remark by the Oba has not gone without replies from a cross-section of the public

Expectedly, the book is expected to unveil more hidden facts about the Benin kingdom as well as its role in contemporary Nigeria.

Duke Oshodi holds an HND in Accounting from the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, and also a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Benin

During a preview of the book to a select group of journalists, Oshodi jocularly threw a challenge to anyone who might want to take him up on the historical facts contained in the book, saying “If anyone is in doubt of what I wrote, he or she should meet me at the Wesley Hotel for either a debate or a dialogue on how to strengthen the fine points of our culture and tradition”

He asserted further that the Ugu kingdom existed for 400 years within the present-day Orhionmwon and bustled with its traditional method of religion and worship before even the British invasion of 1897

He equally alluded to the prevalent aphorisms of the era given their meaning as well as the effects they conveyed to it’s hearers. He cited the example of the local Ugu proverb, “Aigbugu Airhiu Ugu” which means that You don’t kill the vulture, you don’t eat the vulture.

Certainly, the book is likely to stimulate robust debates by the time it finally hits the bookshelf

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