Its been proven again. The best historical secrets are revealed when the Royal fathers bicker or jostle publicly (often on newspaper pages, and in the legal courts) for power, or for the throne .
The current race to wear the Bini crown sees a Bini version of history agreeing with Yoruba history . This version has Oranmiyan visiting Benin and establishing a new ruling house, as the Yoruba have always maintained. By the way, Oranmiyan, was a grandson of Oduduwa, the great Yoruba warrior king deity. His father was Okanbi, Oduduwa’s only son. Oranmiyan was one of 16 grandchildren, which are named in this partial family tree. The Yoruba hold that Oranmiyan bore a son with a Bini woman, and this son was the first Oba of Benin. More recently there’s been a new and controversial claim from some Bini quarters that it was the other way around and Oduduwa was a runaway Bini slave who founded Ile Ife, and who later sent his son/grandson to rule in Benin!
So, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba n’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, joined his ancestors on Friday, April 29 2016 and apparently the (Aboriginal) Bini family of Ogiamien have published a page in the Nigerian Vanguard newspaper of May 17th 2016 to make a claim. Their claim is that there is a 12th Century treaty agreed to by Ogiamien Erebo and Oba Eweka 1 which was formally adopted by Ogiamien Ode and Oba Ewedo. The recently demised Oba Erediauwa also complied with the treaty, which is underscored by a financial payment , after it was resurrected by Ogiamien Osarobo Okuonghae in 1979. Quotes from the article explaining the treaty and its context follow:
“The Ekiokpagha treaty is the compulsory rent a new Oba-elect must pay before he is pronounced an Oba of Benin kingdom and before he is also allowed occupation of the Benin kingdom leased to Oba Eweka 1 by Ogiamien Erebo in 12.00AD.”
“The Ekiokpagha treaty clearly defined the status of Ogiamien as aborigine and permanent landlord while the Oba of Benin kingdom as a permanent tenant,” High Chief Monday Wehere, director of information and external affairs of the Ogiamien family said on Tuesday.
“The Ogiamien is the custodian of the 32 previous Ogisos that had ruled Igodomigodo and the aborigine Binis for over 300 years before the forceful introduction of obaship against the decision of the aborigine Binis while the Oba of Benin (the family) are descendants of the sixth Ooni of Ife, Oba Oranmiyan, the son of Okanbi.
“Therefore, it would be difficult for Ogiamien to pledge allegiance to an invader – Oba of Benin – who is also a tenant,”
“Oba Eweka dynasty has no relationship whatsoever with the Ogiso/Ogiamien dynasty and they are now forcing themselves into our dynasty by fraudulently claiming that Prince Eheneden Erediauwa is now the 70th ruler of Benin kingdom.”
“This is completely false. They are descendants of Oramiyan,”
In bolded italics above is what the Yoruba tradition has always stated.The practice of sending the heads of demised Oba of Bini to Ile Ife was apparently stopped in a bid to hide the history it has been claimed .
This treaty then is the proof of what the Yoruba historians have always said about the Bini connection. Has it been written out in any form since 1255AD when it was agreed? Any mention of it in the European documents? Perhaps the “tenancy ” payment was the only physical embodiment of the treaty. Would going ahead to pay it mean that the Binis agree to the Yoruba ( and Aboriginal Bini ) version of events?
The author Joseph Olupona talks about the relationship between Ile Ife and Benin in his book City of 201 Gods: Ile-Ife in Time, Space, and the Imagination
The Benin Kingdom was a powerful kingdom , famous for their bronze art amongst other things
The Olori Ogunwusi is of Benin heritage. Would have been helpful to the Bini Ruling house if she was from the Ogiamien family no? Or is she? I wonder…