After the banishment of Owodo; the last Ogiso under the (Ogiso periods) for misrule Evain who had earlier distinguished himself as a brave man by destroying the man-eating Osogan, was appointed as an administrator who ruled Benin for nearly 40 years. At his old age, Evian nominated his son Ogiamien as a successor. Unfortunately, this nomination did not go well with the Edo people who maintained that succession to the throne is always applicable to kings and not to commoners to which class Evian belonged. Spear headed by Oliha, there was a serious agitation to bring back the monarch.
The nation was thrown into a state of internecine war and as a way out the elders (led by Oliha) went on a search party to look for Ikaladerhan (the barnished son of the last Ogiso Owodo) who had for some time taken refuge at Uhe (or Ife as is now known). The search party reached Uhe to meet Ikaladerhan already enjoying the status of a king. The Edo people could not persuade him to return home. Nevertheless, Ikaladerhan now known as Ododuwa agreed to send his son if only the Benin could take care of him.
This is how Ododuwa sent his son Oromiyan to Benin. To test whether the Edo people would care for their king, Ododuwa gave the Edo people three years to nurse the common louse. On their success, the great Ododuwa was convinced that the people really would care for their king.
Oromiyan was thereafter sent to Benin in 1170AD.He came into Benin amidst the serious opposition of Ogiamien who refused him entry into the City which was still under the firm grip of his administration.
Oromiyan was therefore forced to settle at Usama which was an outskirt of the City State. There he remained under the political support of the elders (Edion) headed by Chief Oliha. Oromiyan had both language and cultural handicaps because of his Yoruba backgrounds. Although he had a Benin father (Ikaladerhan) yet he was really born and bred in yoruba land which was then the adopted kingdom, a refugee prince who had now found a new home at Ife.
When Oromiyan could neither speak nor understand the Benin custom, unable to bear the animosity for very long renounced his position and labeled Edo land [Benin kingdom] lle Ibinu meaning land of annoyance and vexation and declared that only a child of the soil educated in the culture and tradition of the land could rule the kingdom. He thereafter returned to Uhe(IIe Ife) On his way back home he stopped briefly at Ego where he impregnated princess Erimwinde the daughter of the Enogie of Ego who bear him a son.
In his early years couldn’t talk when his father who by now established the Alafin dynasty in Oyo had of his son predicament, sent his son’s mother Ehendiwo seven marbles. While playing this marbles with other children one of his throws hit the target in excitement screamed Owomika (I have succeeded) which was Corrupted into Eweka.
For a period of over 30 years, the administration of Benin City was virtually in the hands of Ogiamien family until 1200 AD when the “Boy-King” Eweka I as a young king ruled the kingdom with the assistance of his maternal grandfather Ogiegor.
Oba Eweka I stated the reign of the Obas. Hitherto, the kings were known as Ogiso but when Eweka I came as a king, he was referred to as Oba. Some people said that the word oba is a yoruba word which means king. Others said the word Obaa meaning it is hard or difficult or probably from an abbreviation of the original name of the first Ogiso (Obagodo (Oba godo)-Oba king; godo-high : High King). Wherever the word is derived from one can only say that it really came into use as connoting kingship during Oba Eweka I in 1200 AD.
Oba Eweka reigned for 35 years at his demise, his rival children ruled in succession.