BENIN – Prominent Nigerians and Foreign nationals are expected to assemble at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre, Benin City, where Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, a human rights lawyer and Mr. Aikorhiegie Obobaifo, executive director, Institute For Benin Studies are expected to deliver papers at the maiden celebration of the Great Benin Kingdom, the oldest surviving monarchy in Africa Continent and second oldest in the world.
Great Benin Descendants, GBD, Organisers of the historic event which will be chaired by Chief Sam Igbe, the Iyase of Benin kingdom in a statement stated that the great Benin kingdom has come a long way and for its internal mechanism to have survived the rigors of modern concepts of government needs to be proud of and celebrated.
The statement signed by Imasuen Amowie Izoduwa and Prince Ikponmwonba Vittorio, GBD Coordinator General World Wide and Organising committee chairman respectively, stated that the Benin indigenes must be proud at all times of the legacy their imperial ancestors left for them.
According to the statement, indeed, world history is shared but the component parts are unique and as such we are proud to be that part that portrays the rich historical and cultural heritage of our people.
“Complex societies are a conglomeration of simple societies of which leadership are structured out to enhance the principle underscored by the people over the years, the people are always older than the monarchy that came through the process of a fellowship of similar understanding of self-governance,
“It is the process of longing for the advancement of these colonies that breed the thoughts of an organized leadership.
“The same process was applicable to the evolution of the people at that time known as Idu or Efa people in which the process bequeathed the first documented king of the people in Iduland (the very first name of our land) known to our people as Ogiso Igodo in 40BC shortly after the people experienced a failed continuation of rulership which led to 285 years of interregnum and another line of thought from the first instance of primogeniture to gerontocratic rule.
“Thereafter, the natural evolution created the possibility of a more stable rulership and the people returned to primogeniture, an act that has been maintained till today in which 31 Ogisos reigned in a period of 854 years.
Two major interregnums were experienced, the first lasted for 285 years and the second lasted for 70 years with the second interregnum, in particular, that was very popular because it is the intermediary between our past and present as the bridge at which we were connected to less civilized people of this part of the world.
“We presently have the 40th Oba of Benin and they have jointly reigned for a period of 846 years and counting, in total the Benin Monarch has survived for about 2055 years, which mathematically make her the second oldest surviving Kingdom in the world only bested by the Japanese monarchy.
“The intrigues that surround sustenance of great kingdoms of the world has affected much older monarchies all over the world that most of them did not survive to this day, we are particularly grateful that against all odds our monarchy has survived and as such we must at all times give thanks to our God and our ancestors for the gift of this magnificent accomplishment”.