Bini and the shameful twist of History
June 21, 2021
In the past few years, the history of Yoruba people has witnessed a lot of changes and manipulations to the disadvantage of good conscience. The changes come not only in territory, but also in the conscious distortion of well known honour for parochial gains.
In this editorial, we reflect on the phantom theory fabricated to distort the history of Edo and her royalty and the implication for Yoruba grandeur in the commonwealth. One of the most disturbing in the dusty fume of lies is the new assumption that Oduduwa was a Benin Prince contrary to long standing history that is known to nature.
It thus mean the attempt to castrate the Yoruba ancestry is not only seen in the form of armed banditry of alien landfarers but also in the intellectual circle as seen in the new, festering position of the Edo royalty supported by some renegade scholars.
As the debate on the National Question assumes a major outpost in Nigeria, we chose on this page to revisit the Royalty question in Edo State in the midst of orchestrated gradual destruction of tested and trusted facts of history.
It all began with the late Oba of Benin Erediauwa Solomon Akenzua born on June 22 1923 and left the world graciously on June 22, 2016 and the 39th Oba of Bini with the title His Royal Majesty Omo n Oba Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa 1, who during his visit to Lagos, at a book launch declared that Oduduwa was a renegade prince of Benin. Since 1100 when Oranmiyan, the son of Oduduwa founded Bini, no Edo Oba has ever made such a categorically false statement. Unfortunately, the statement of the Oba has been seized by primordial forces who now claim such as the determinant bedrock of Edo royal past.
We point to realities that make such a claim totally untrue. The Benin Royalty did not dispute the fact that Oranmiyan is the son of Oduduwa. It did not dismiss the fact that Oranmiyan, purely a Yoruba name, is the founder of Bini Kingdom at least in the post Ogiso era. If Oduduwa was from Bini, where did he live for the several years he was on mother earth? Bini has no answer, only Ile-Ife provides the answer as his burial site remains at Ile-Ife till date. If Oduduwa came from Bini, how did he come to Ile-Ife to rule the Kingdom and not Benin city? It was and is still not possible for a King to leave his domain without traces of his offspring and we ask, who were the offspring left behind at Bini by Oduduwa? Bini has no answer, only Ile-Ife provides us with a logical, reasonable answer. We ask again, why were over 30 Bini Obas buried at Ile-Ife, why not in Bini City if that was actually the origin of Oduduwa?
The true story was that the then Ooni of Ife sent his son Oranmiyan to Igodomigodo on the request of the Bini people whose land at that time was troubled by internal strife. He first arrived at Use, and ruled Bini from Use. He eventually left Ile-Ife after which he named the territory Ibi-Ibinu a city of anger or “Land of Vexation”. Unfortunately, some Bini scholars are making futile attempts to link the name Bini to Portuguese influence. This is rather unfortunate and dishonest.
Oba of Bini, Godfrey Edokparhogbuyunmwun Aguobasimwin Eweka born on January 7, 1899 Lagos, Nigeria and died June 1978 never at any time said Oduduwa came from Bini. None of this fathers said so.
Fact: Oranmiyan had stopped at Egor where he married Erinmwide, daughter of the Enogie. Erinwinde gave birth to Eweka, being Oranmiyan’s only son left in Bini. Eweka eventually inherited the throne. His offspring formed the succeeding generation of Bini Obas. It is ridiculous that some royalty in Lagos claim the first Oba came from Bini, which is true, but they fail to admit the fact that Ashipa and Ado who ruled Lagos one after the other, the first of Lagos royalty, were chips off the same Oranmiyan. Oba of Lagos Oba, Ado who came from Bini ruled between 1630-1669, a clear indication he came from the stool established by Oranmiyan in Bini. This truth is often deliberately ignored by those who say Oba of Lagos is from Bini without mentioning his Oranmiyan lineage. This is unfair. Ado came in several years after Oranmiyan had established Bini Kingdom. The Awori could not have accepted Ashipa and Ado if not for the knowledge that both were linked to Oranmiyan, meaning that Lagos is nothing but an extension of the Oduduwa Empire. We hope at the fullness of time, history will take its proper place as against the divisive politics that has now been introduced to Bini history.