• As Oba’s palace shuns Ooni of Ife’s wedding

Crown Prince of Benin, Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, was formally installed as the Edaiken N’ Uselu yesterday in Benin City, following the successful completion of the mandatory traditional rites.
The Edaiken is believed to have assumed the title having completed traditional rites and with the development he is expected to take up residence at Uselu as a temporal abode pending further traditional developments.
The event, which is a rare lifetime event for many a Benin, attracted a large crowd of supporters that thronged the palace located opposite the Uselu Motor park, while shops and other business outlets were shut temporarily, as a mark of honour and solidarity with the crown prince.
Meanwhile the wedding of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, also took place in the ancient city yesterday reportedly without the presence of a representative of the Oba of Benin. Though some Benin chiefs were present they were said to have gone there in their personal capacities.
The absence of representatives from palace observers say may not be unconnected with the recent controversy by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, who decided to rank Obas in Yorubaland and erroneusly included the Benin monarch on his list.
Gbadebo while receiving the Ooni of Ife, at Abeokuta, Ogun State, in February, said there were five principal obas in Yorubaland and listed the Oba of Benin third on the hierarchy after the Alaafin of Oyo (2nd) and Ooni (1st).
The Esogban of Benin and Odionwere of the Kingdom (traditional head), Chief David Edebiri, had reacted to the ranking and said the stool of the ancient city of Benin is superior to that of any Yoruba monarch.
One observer said of the Ooni wedding, “there is no way the palace of the Omo N’Oba would participate in such an event as a wedding, when it had a more serious event of the Crown Prince of Benin being formally installed the Edaiken N’ Uselu”.
The Ooni of Ife who has reportedly been without a wife since he assumed the throne owing to the breakup of his first marriage to Adebukunola Ogunwusi, due to irreconcilable differences, married Miss Wuraola Otiti Zynab Obanor, yesterday.
After the wedding, the reception shifted to a tent at the aging Edo Hotel, No. 4 Okada Drive, GRA Benin City, Edo State.
The Ooni had spent the night before the wedding at one of his palatial private residences located along Second Ugbor, Benin City.
Meanwhile for the Edaiken’s installation, the Oba market and some streets, and roads housing some traditional shines were cordoned – off by security personnel and manned by colourfully dressed palace chiefs, while some commuters and lovers of Benin tradition struggled to catch a glimpse of the event.
Women groups adorned in Benin traditional attire, drummers and entertainers, youths and visitors, palace chiefs including politicians and government officials led by Edo state governor, Dr. Adams Oshiomhole, defied the scorching sun to await the arrival of the crown prince.
The arrival of the Crown Prince in company of some first class Benin chiefs and combined security team from his private residence near the Edo Hotel in Benin to the palace at Uselu, marked the commencement of the Ceremony at about 2pm, but not after a brief consultation with palace chiefs and the performance of traditional rites at the palace.

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