Tuesday 21 May 2024


Oduduwa of Uhe (Ife) was old and was too old to undertake the long journey to Igodomigodo.

When he gave this excuse, pressure was mounted on him by the edionisen to send his son. He felt very reluctant sending his son too.

He feared the safety of his son and needed some guarantee.

In order to test the sincerity of the Edionisen and know their ability to cater for his son, according to J. U. Egharevba, some lice were given to Oliha to look after. Egharevba further cites tradition as saying that Oliha was able to send back the lice to Ododuwa (Ikaladerhan) at Uhe, after housing the lice on the bushy hair of one of his servants.

It was this ability of Oliha to preserve the lice that gave Oliha the appellation Ogele or O gele vben Udu. Ogele mu’ irru.

He is today called Oliha ‘ne ogele’as his praise name.

After this feat, Ekaladerhan acceded to the request to send his son to Igodomigodo.

Oromiyan entourage included amongst others,

 ⁃ Edigin and his household.

 ⁃ Elawure and his household.

 ⁃ Ihama and his household.

 ⁃ And Ezima and his household.

They accompanied him to Igodomigodo.

They entered Igodornigodo through the Western route via Iyekovia.

Elawure and Ezima stayed off at Usen and Okemuen because of the long battle between the warriors loyal to Edionisen and the warriors of Ogiamie which took place at the Ovia river. The warriors camped at either side of the river, with the Ogiamie warriors preventing Oranmiyan from crossing the river to enter the capital. 

They both became the rulers of the people of those communities.

It was as from River Ovia that Oromiyan started feeling the resistance of Ogiamie’s protest against his coming, by stationing warriors at the Benin City side of the river.

Ogiamie after loosing the fight at ovia river, Ogiamie retreated to the city to lay another siege, by mobilizing his warriors to stop Oromiyan from entering the city.

The  Edionisen decided to keep Oromiyan and entourage with Ogiegor at Ego.

The Enogie of Ego took care of him, while the Edionisen prepared his palace at Usama.

He was there for some years. ‘He was not however crowned because of the enormous problems created by Ogieamien and his supporters.

Erebor the son of Evian who was the administrator continued to rule almost half of the kingdom.

He surrounded himself with soldiers and declared his new title hereditary.

With the hope of passing it to his descendants who would also rule like he had done.

He resisted all attempts by the Edionisen to disposes him of the Ogiso’s stool.

The inability of the Edionisen to wrest the land and Ogiso’s properties from Irebor created difficulties for Oromiyan.

He was living in fear and suspicion of the people.

He could not successfully adapt himself to his new status despite the great support the Edionisen gave to him.

He had problem of communicating with people, because of lack of understanding of Edo language.

 Prince Oranmiyan, unable to bear the animosity for very long, renounced his office and called Igodomigodo land, Ile Ibinu (meaning a land of vexation).

He declared that only a child born and educated in the culture and traditions of Igodomigodo could rule the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Oranmiyan  was given a maiden to wife, the daughter of Ogie-Ego named Erinmwinde who had a male child for him.

By this, Erinmwinde became the mother of the first crowned Oba of Igodomigodo.

Because Oranmiyan was related to the Edo royal household, he couldn’t be given a princess from the royal household to wife?

Oromiyan decided to go back home as he could not rule successfully especially because of the resistance put up by Ogieamien and his supporters.

Before he left for Uhe, he place his wife and child under the care of Edigin at Useh.

 It should be recalled that Edigin was one of the nobles that came with Oranmiyan from Uhe. Who settled at Useh because Ogiamien Irebor did not allow them to enter the kingdom.

Edigin was the descendant of one of the people that followed Ekaladerhan from Igodomigodo to Uhe.

The edionisen then waited for his child to grow up so that he can assume the throne.

At first, the child could not speak and the oracle consulted.

It prescribed the performance of some rites and the playing of akhue (marble) by the young prince.

After the rites, while playing the marble, he uttered the word owomika meaning “I captured it” when he struck the only remaining marble.

His curious expression in the Olukumi people’s language was as a result of it being the language spoken in the household of Edigin at Use during this early period. 

Edigin was one of those who came from Uhe with Oromiyan.

Since then, Useh became a place where all Obas perform the marble (Ahkue) playing ceremonies preceding their taking of titles.

After Oromiyan had left, the Edionisen busied themselves with training the young prince in the mysteries of Igodomigodo kingship.

They suspended all their political differences until the prince was old enough to take his father’s place and crown.

Though Ogieamien was old, yet he was a very strong and indomitable character.

He was determined not only to rule but also to ensure that Ogieamien became a hereditary title to be used by his descendants over his area.

When he died, he was succeeded by his son who went by the same title Ogieamien.

He was not as able and forceful as his father.

This character made him to start losing supporters to the young prince who had grown up and crowned, king of Igodomigodo.

The edionisen were able to convince the people that Oronmiyan was a son of Ikaladerhan who became Ododuwa of Ife and that they wanted the continuity of the monarchy though the system of primogeniture.

The Edionisen (King crooners) and the people of then Igodomigodo were fully aware of the fact that prince Oromiyan was Ikaladerhan’s son.

Ikaladeran was the only son of Ogiso Owodo who became Ododuwa of Uhe, hence the rightful heir to Benin throne.

That is why they brought his son to come and continue the line of his father.

Oronmiyan was therefore the link between the old monarchy of Ogiso and the new monarchy of Obas of Benin.

Oromiyan was not a foreign invader who haven failed, assigned his infant son to the task.

The Edionisen were instrumental to Oromiyan’s coming, having been sent by Ododuwa (Ikaladerhan).

The Edionisen wanted to preserve the royal line as best as they could.

If Oromiyan was a foreign invader, it would have been impossible for his infant son to be given so much care and protection in the midst of anti-

 royalist who were opposed to the restoration and his installation and rule as a king.

If they were not aware that it was the kingly blood of Owodo that was still running in the veins of the young infant prince, he would not had lived to become a king.

It is unthinkable that 31 kings had ruled for over 1000 years – 40 B.C- 1100A.D. succeeding each other on the principle of primogeniture and for the same people to go to a foreign land to bring a foreigner to come and rule over them.

Hence one is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Oromiyan was a son to Ikaladerhan who became Ododuwa of Uhe.

The Yoruba themselves said that Oduduwa came from the East and he was great spiritualist whereas Benin is East of Uhe (Ife) area and Ikaladerhan exile coincided with that period of the arrival of Ododuwa in Uhe.

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