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Ozolua (About 1481AD-1504AD)

After the death of Olua without a clear successor, Prince Okpame who would have succeeded to the throne was in exile at Ora. There were struggles for control among the powerful chiefs for three agonizing years .They set up a republican administration. Without a formidable leader at the herm of the affair to maintain law and order, those placed in various levels of authority, were weak and incapable. Benin kingdom became totally disorganized and vulnerable to enemy attack. This compelled the Benin elders to call on prince Okpame in Ora to come back to Benin and ascends to his ancestral throne and save his fatherland.He rejected the offer. The Benin Elders were able to convince him to accept the crown.

Finally he ascended the throne, with the title Oba Ozolua.

With the City in serious disarray, He therefore embarked on consolidation of the City State His first task was to launch a full-scale war to subdue the secessionist, He conquered many towns and village notable Owo, Ijebu-Land, Ondo. It is to his credit that he won not less than 200 battles which earned him the appellation Ozolua, n’ ibaromi” meaning Ozolua the Conqueror.

It was Ozolua who introduced a musical instrument called Emaba now used for the royal dance. He seized this instrument from Origbo who was a powerful Chief at Ogidi near Siluko. The conquest of Ijebu Ode, Owo and its environs are records which no one has surpassed. In 1503 it became necessary for him to march on Uromi to re-establish his suzerainty over the area when Enogie Agba rebelled.

Ozolua was the father of Alani of Idoani, Olokpe of Okpe in Akoko Edo Area (north of Benin city) Uguan of Ora, Owa of Owo, Awojale of Ijebu-Ode and Eze of Aboh. He established the settlement of sobo (Uhobe) Ijagba, Ifon and Uhie.

During his reign a Portuguese, explorer John Affonso d’Aveiro visited Benin (1485-1486).