Member Login

Ewedo (About 1255AD-1280AD)

Prince Efabo ascended the throne after the death of his father with the title Oba Ewedo. Seen by historians as the second greatest monarch to reign in Benin kingdom.

It must be observed that the three first Obas – Eweka I, Uwakhuanhen and Ehenmihen had their political suport from the elders (Edion who later became known as Uzama) Oba Ewedo discontented with the rudely behaviors of the Edionisen (five Elders) uzama he called them ‘Emwan nei zama omwan’ meaning people who don’t show respect to their Oba this was later corrupted into Uzama. This is not surprising because they brought Oromiyan from Uhe [IIe Ife]. These Edion more or less treated the monarchy as primus inter pares which position Oba Ewedo therefore embarked upon a risky job of suppressing the Uzamas and miraculously, he did not only succeed in doing so but eventually suppressed Ogiamien who was virtually in control of the City State.

The final settlement came at the battle of “Ekiokpagha” which the Oba fought with Ogiamien who was defeated.

After the victory, Oba Ewedo received the royal stool from Ogiamen and built the present royal palace.

Ogiamien was appointed a chief converting Ogiamien his nickname to a title.

The apantomanic re-enactment of this battle is now a part of the coronation ritual usually performed on the seventh day after a new Oba is crowned. It is in this light that one may venture to say that Ewedo really consolidated the position of Benin monarchy.

In other to make the Edionise five elders (Uzama) more, accountable to him he reduces their power, which before now was equals with the Oba.

He prohibits all chiefs including the uzama from sitting when they are before him instead they must stand in a row to identify him from them.

He prohibits all chiefs from carrying Ada the royal sword of office before him.

To weaker the power of Uzama the more he created the title Iyase [I ya ona se uwa] meaning this I create to be higher then you all. Most of the functions and powers of the Edionise [five elders] Uzama like the confirmation of titles both hereditary or non hereditary were transferred to Chief Iyase who does so with the instructions of the Oba.The Iyase now became the second in Command & the kingdom Prime Minister.The only important function of the Uzama was to officiate at the crowning ceremony of a new Oba.

He also created additional titles such as Esogban-who was made to be in charge of the shrines of the elders, Uwangue (keepers of Oba’s wordrobe and the Regalia), Osodin and Uso (keepers of oba’s harem), Isekhurhe as the kingdom chief priest- Incharge of Oba’s ancestral staff and the recorders of Oba’s ancestors.

To bring law and order into the kingdom he build the first prison called Ewedo named after him ,in which criminals were confined. The prison was kept under the control of chief Eribo.

He changed the name of the kingdom from IIe -Ibinu to Ubini.