Nigeria has a grounded traditional institution. From the north to the south, east and west, there are traditional rulers who have served as custodian of culture and traditions and contributed their quota in the development of the communities.
One formidable traditional system revered by Nigerians is the monarchical system of the Benin Kingdom. The kingdom is led by Omo N’Oba Erediauwa who was enthroned in 1979 and its rich heritage has made the system impregnable to the spoils of modernity. Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal shines the light on key reasons why this traditional institution stands out.
Steeped in Mystery
The Benin monarchical system is embedded in so much mystery that it is sometimes difficult for the uninitiated to understand. There are taboos like pointing and whistling that visitors must not engage in. In addition, the process of coronation, burial and even the Igue festival are all done in deep secrecy with a plethora of rituals.
The traditional empire of Benin predates Nigeria. This makes it distinct and unique from others dynasties. The Benin kingdom is believed to have been founded in 1440 and has had 38 traditional rulers including the present Omo N’Oba. The heritage of both the traditional system and the history of Benin made the position of Oba very powerful.
Rare appearance of the Oba
Like the rulers in neighbouring Ondo state, being an Oba in Benin Kingdom comes with a long list of rules and regulations. An important one is that the Oba is rarely seen in public. The only period he is seen is during the Igue festival. Even if a highly placed personality invites the Oba, he will either send his emissaries or have the individual visit him inside his palace.
It is a first class traditional institution and this attracts the high and mighty. This influence stretches beyond the shores of Benin to the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. Therefore, the throne is competitive leading to multiple controversy among its people. However, due to the history and heritage of the kingdom, disputes are infrequent. This is because there are laid down rules and regulations which date to the beginning of the traditional institution itself that guides the conduct of its constituents.