Oba of Benin
By Imelda Osayande
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has rounded off the 2018 annual Igue Festival, worrying over the involvement of youths in money rituals.
He warned that the behaviour was abominable and alien to Benin customs and tradition.
The Oba advised youths to shun money rituals as there was no easy way for wealth accumulation.
The Oba gave the warning on Sunday during a thanksgiving service at the Holy Aruosa Cathedral in Benin to round off the festival.
“Youths who cling to the illusion that they can become wealthy by killing people or stealing female underwear for ritual purposes, will no doubt face the consequence.’’
The monarch interceded for Nigeria and her leaders and urged politicians and youths to shun acts that could undermine free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
The Oba also warned politicians to desist from violence and other acts inimical to the electoral process.
He cautioned the youths not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs to cause mayhem during elections.
He announced a N2 million cash donation as welfare fund to assist children of indigent worshipers of Holy Aruosa Cathedral and the development of the church which was built in 15th Century.
The traditional ruler also announced a N50, 000 gift to the church choir in addition to the sum of N100,000 donation to other departments of the church.
In his message, the Chief Priest of Holy Aruosa Cathedral, Ohen-Osa Harrison Okao, congratulated the Oba, who was clad in a white royal apparel with a beaded cap and a pair of glasses.
He implored the congregation not to adulterate Benin culture and traditions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Oba was accompanied by his wives to the church service which was conducted in Edo language.
Top palace functionaries including palace Chiefs, priests and priestesses of different deities, members of the Benin royal family and dukes were in attendance.
The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo Council, led by its Chairman, Mr Roland Osakue, took turns to pay tribute to the monarch.
The famous Guild of Bronze Casters at Igun, floated a carnival across major streets in Benin in honour of the royal father for a successful annual Igue festival which began on December 14, 2018.
There was heavy security presence at the venue while the popular Akpakpava Street was locked down during the service as politicians jostled to get the attention of the monarch. (NAN)