By Agene Akhere, Benin
Exactly 25 days after the Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, announced the transition of the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Erediauwa, the palace has announced a 14-day funeral rites to begin from Wednesday May 25, which is Ekioba Market day, with palace rites.
The rites will end on Wednesday June 8 then Agbado Market day.
A statement signed by the Secretary, Benin Traditional Council, Mr. Frank Irabor, said other palace rites would be held on the 26th, 27th and 28th. On Sunday, May 29th there would be entertainment of guests.
According to the statement, palace rites would continue on Monday, May 30th to Saturday, June 4 when there would be presentation of gifts.
The palace rites would continue on Sunday June 5th, palace rites and continue on Tuesday June 7th with Ikowia.
The statement said the performance Ofemwinekhua (royal funeral rites) is the sole responsibility of the Crown Prince, Edaiken N’Uselu.
By the announcement of the funeral rites, “all burial ceremonies are prohibited. We advise everyone to go about his or her normal businesses and to stay away from places where traditional rites that are not open to the public are performed during Emwinekhua,” the statement said.
It also advised non-indigenes to show respect for the tradition and custom of the people during the period, saying the palace would work with security agencies to ensure safety of lives during the period.
“We must, however, warn all trouble makers and their ilk who may see this period as an opportunity to foment trouble and cause disorder that we shall not tolerate such behaviours. Unfamiliar sounds, which are intended to warn people, especially women to keep away may be heard in such places but this should not cause anxieties among us.
“As Edo people, we cherish the common history and heritage we share. Therefore it is our expectation that we should come together in a common understanding of the things we must do during this period of mourning and throughout this period.”