By Emma Arubi
The Oba of Benin His Royal Majesty, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare 11 has called for greater cultural unity and harmony between the Benis and the Itsekiri people.
Ewuare 11 made this call Saturday at the palace of the Warri monarch when the latter paid a royal ‘Thank You’ visit to His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli , saying “Today the Almighty God, the great Geometrician of the Universe has made it possible for us to witness this glorious reunion of our royal households who have for Centuries, shared common ancestry, bond and togetherness”.
The Benin monarch who relished the joy of his coronation day used the visit to convey his deep and sincere appreciation to the Olu of Warri and the entire Itsekiri nation for the “uncommon, yet spectacular support accorded him during his coronation” adding that the visit brings to the fore the close affinity of the Itsekiri and Benin people while appealing for closer interaction in order to explore factors that unite rather than those that divide them.
According to him, both kingdoms should develop the ethos that reinforces their cultural unity and harmony because they share a lot of things in common, ranging from their beautiful and cherished culture to mutual respect for hard work and human dignity, saying that “these are the core values our dear nation earnestly needs to surmount the mirage of challenges we presently face today” and commended the Olu of Warri for working for the peace, security and development of the people and society.
Earlier in his welcome address read by Chief Brown Mene, the Olu of Warri said the visit is not only unique but exclusively significant as it underscores the affinity between the people that has lasted for the past five hundred and Thirty-Eight years (538).
Ogiame Ikenwoli then went into memory lane recalling when Oba Erediauwa paid a royal visit to his father, Olu Erejuwa 11, saying the “visit to this palace in 1981 was of great joy and celebration which is exactly what God Almighty has allowed us to replicate here today”.
He said though challenges of globalization, population and boundary adjustments for the convenience of governance has cult adrift, polarized and separated the people “we have preferred to chart the course of not forgetting who we are and those with whom we share a common ancient links” stating that Oba Ewuare 11 presence in his palace is an attestation and validation of these cherished values.
Both natural rulers thereafter prayed for the peace, unity, longer life, progress for their peoples and kingdoms with the Olu of Warri making gift presentation depicting the culture of the riverine people to the Oba of Benin which he promised to retaliate whenever the Olu visits his palace in Benin.