Chief Agho Obaseki: Lest We Forget or Repeat History (EDITORIAL)

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Editorial

CHIEF AGHO OBASEKI OYOO

According to the official publication by the Obaseki family, Chief Agho Obaseki (who ruled in Benin between 1897 – 1914 as Head of Administration when Oba Ovonramwen was exiled) was the great great grand son of the Obi of Nsukwa, in Aniocha region of Delta State of Nigeria. According to a genealogical trace by the Obaseki family that has not been corroborated by relevant authorities in Benin, the first Obi of Nsukwa himself was the son of Oba Ehengbuda (ca 1578 A.D).

Chief Agho Obaseki was the last child of his father, Ogbeide Oyoo. Ogbeide Oyoo came to Benin from Nsukwa through Ewohinmin along with Prince Erediauwa who became Oba Osemwende after defeating his younger brother, ‘Oba’ Ogbebor who usurped the throne for a while. Ogbeide Oyoo served the Oba Osemwende as Omu’ada (shield bearer, the lowest rank of palace workers).

How Did The Obaseki Family Migrate To Benin?

Oba Akengbuda is among the longest serving Obas in Benin history. He ruled Benin Empire between 1750/1804, about 54 years, over half a century, on the throne. When the Leopard went above, after a very long reign, Oba Obanosa succeeded him at an old age, but did not last long on the throne.

Upon the transition of Oba Obanosa, there was a political struggle and intrigues played by key members of the House of Iwebo, the highest of the palace associations. Due to these political intrigues by some of the high ranking chiefs in the house of Iwebo, Prince Ogbebor, the second son of Oba Obanosa was coronated, instead of Prince Erediauwa, the eldest son. Once crowned, ‘Oba’ Ogbenor banished Prince Erediauwa from Benin and the rightful heir to the throne was declared a fugitive by his brother Ogbebor, who quickly consolidated power.

To save his life, Prince Erediauwa fled Benin City to Ewohimi in Esanland where his mother comes from. From Ewohimi, Prince Erediauwa made visits to nearby Isi in Nsukwa kingdom. Ewohinmin is close to Asaba, Nsukwa and other eastern Delta cities. Prince Erediauwa’s flee from his brother Ogbebor landed him in Isi, near Nsukwa. Upon arriving in Isi, Prince Erediauwa met a man named Osifo Oyoo, who was very sympathetic to the young Prince Erediauwa’s plight, because of the similar predicament that befell Osifo Oyoo’s father, Prince Emokhua N’Obo, at Nsukwah, years before.

Prince Emokhua N’Oboh was a native doctor in Nsukwa who was schemed out of the battle to become the King of Nsukwu. In protest, he relocated to Isi. Prince Erediauwa and Osifo Oyoo quickly connected, without much hard sell or conviction.

According to the Obaseki family official statement, Osifo Oyoo is reported to be among the strategists who helped Prince Erediauwa to regain the throne. But this claim has not been independently verified. Since it was dangerous for Prince Erediauwa to remain in Edo land or for anyone to be seen helping the young Prince, with his brother Prince Ogbebor on the throne and in control of the formidable Benin imperial military, he sought refuge in Ewohimi, his mother’s home town. His friend, Osifo Oyoo, ordered his young son, Ogbeide Oyoo to accompany Prince Erediauwa to Ewohimi and serve him, while he himself continued to reside in Isi.

When Prince Erediauwa returned to Benin and finally defeated his brother Prince Ogbebor, he was crowned and assumed the title Oba Osemwende. The royal servant , Ogbeide Oyoo, who would later be Chief Agho Obaseki’s father, was appointed as Omu’Ada (the sceptre bearer), the lowest rank in the palace. Ogbeide Oyoo nevertheless rose rapidly under Oba Osemwende’s reign.

After Oba Osemwende passed to beyond, Oba Adolor ascended the throne in 1848 A.D. Ogbeide Oyoo was elevated in rank until he attained the position as the head of Ibiwe (one of the palace associations, custodians of the Princes) and was titled the Inneh of Ibiwe. It was during Ogbeide Oyo’s role as the inneh of Ibiwe and being the custodian of the heir apparent, that Agho Ogbeide (Who would later be known as Chief Agho Obaseki) his son became very close to Prince Idugbowa (who would later be crowned with the title Oba Ovonramwen in 1888).

When Ogbeide Oyoo died, Agho still a young boy lived at Iguovionoba, where his brother Ogbomo was residing, which is about 35 miles from Benin City and also very close to his mother’s village Okha. However, his stay at Iguovionoba was short lived, because of a dispute with one of the high ranking elders there. When life became unbearable and under constant threat, he relocated back to Benin City and sought the help of Prince Idugbowa, his childhood friend. Once again, their friendship was rekindled as Princee Idugbowa helped to rehabilitate him and established him in the city.

Agho now a young man lived with his friend, Prince Idugbowa and started trading in cash crops such as oil, timber and spices. He became successful and influential, according to the Obaseki family, “because of the support he got from Prince Idugbowa”

Ogbeide Oyoo’s break came in 1888 A.D, when Oba Adolor passed to beyond and Prince Idugbowa was crowned Oba Ovonramwen. After King Ovoramwen was crowned, he rewarded Agho with a chieftaincy title which he created and named Obaseki and bestowed it on Agho Ogbeide.

This was how the former Omu’Ada became a palace chief and then was able to participate in the 1897 political drama that occurred in Benin Empire.

The 1897 Benin massacre was a dark period for the Edo nation. It marked the beginning of the end of the empire. After the 1897 Benin massacre, Oba Ovonramwen was exiled to Calabar and this broke the friendship between Chief Obaseki and his childhood friend.

According to official account of the Obaseki family published online “The role Oba Ovonramwen made Chief Obaseki played during the aftermath of the massacre, as a go between him and the British conquerors, especially during the bitter trial, placed Chief Obaseki in a precarious position. Also, after King Ovonramwen was exiled to Calabar, the subsequent elevation of Chief Obaseki to the position of control of Edo government by the British during the inter-regnum, made the Edos very suspicious of Chief Obaseki”.

After the banishment of Oba Ovonramwen to Calabar, Chief Obaseki accepted the Head the Benin Kingdom and do the bidding of the white man. The colonial masters trusted Obaseki but the Benin people didn’t trust him, they felt that he was a betrayer of trust. Many argue that Obaseki should have refused to accept to head the city and force the colonial masters to reinstate Ovonramwen but the Obaseki family and another school of thought argue that in the circumstance, Chief Agho Obaseki did what he had to do.

While administering Benin Kingdom for the colonial masters, Obaseki also sent his second son to Calabar to serve Oba Ovonramwen. Some people believe that he sent his son to Calabar with the intention to spy on the Oba and ensure that he never returns to Benin City. Chief Agho Obaseki’s second son returned to Benin City in January 1914 when Oba Ovonramwen passed on in that month. In 1908, while he was now effectively in charge of Benin, Chief Obaseki married Oba Ovonramwen’s daughter, Princess Orimwinamen, while the Oba was in exile in Calabar.

When Oba Ovonramwen passed to the great beyond in January 1914, Oba Eweka II was crowned, after a raging controversy that involved Chief Obaseki who didn’t want to step aside for the Oba, formerly Prince Aiguobasinmwin.

The British, in attempt to cause confusion between the heir apparent and Chief Obaseki, insisted that Chief Obaseki continued to be in charge but the Edo people, tired of the rule of someone who they believed didn’t have the blue blood and wasn’t from the bloodline of their Obas, resisted every move to perpetuate the reign of Chief Agho Obaseki as the head of Benin Kingdom.

As a compromise, the matter was resolved by allowing Oba Eweka II to reign as Oba (King) while Chief Agho Obaseki was installed by the British (not the Benin traditional authorities) as the Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin.

Chief Agho Obaseki also married Oba Eweka II’s daughter, Princess Ebose, in 1918.

Finally, two years after marrying the Oba’s daughter, Chief Agho Obaseki passed away on September 9, 1920, exactly 23 years after the Benin-British War of September 1897 which culminated in the exile of Ovonramen N’Ogbaisi.

References:
1. Ekhaguosa, Aisien (1991), The Stories From Old Benin – Erediauwa Prince of Benin
2. Bradbury, R.E., (1957), The Benin Kingdom, International Institute
3. Igbafe, Philip Aigbona, (1972), Obaseki of Benin, Heinemann: Ibadan
4. Igbafe, Philip Aigbona (1991). The nemesis of power: Agho Obaseki and Benin politics, 1897-1956. Yaba, Lagos, Macmillan Nigeria
5. Chief Jacob A. Egharevba: Short history of Benin
6. http://obaseki.org/?page_id=5

7. Statement by Prince Edun Akenzua, brother of Oba Erediauwa and Enogie of Obazuwa.

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24 Responses to Chief Agho Obaseki: Lest We Forget or Repeat History (EDITORIAL)

  1. Bright iluobe says:

    If Godwin Obaseki has the so called magic wand to better the present economic situation of our dear state why has he as the head of the state economic team not transformed our dear state into an economic mecca of sort. He will rather advise the present government to embark on enforcement of illegal tax policies. Be rest assured that as an adviser the present APC flagbearer is responsible for the present suffering experienced by edo people, we therefore cannot trust him with our votes because as the chairman of the state executive citizens and residents of our state will be left to leave in squalor and abject poverty. I am apolitical and as such challenge Godwin Obaseki to not only advise and suggest practical ways but must also ensure the payment of backlog of salaries owed local government employee’s and judiciary workers as the only way to gain my vote and that of others who share my thoughts #UseYourHead

  2. osagie says:

    you sharp Wilson

  3. Wilson says:

    I understand you,In this place oshiomole is the white man while Godwin is the 1897 Agho obaseki

  4. Wilson says:

    Your great grand father is a traitor

  5. Agho Johnson says:

    Jst passing. Let’s not carry hatered and work with it. We all are great people of Edo state. It’s not about family tiles but about the people of Edo state. Our great great grand fathers, talking about the great cheif Agho Obaseki and our Oba Ovonramwen. Didn’t fight each other not once. Drop the hate and work for a better Edo

  6. Nosa Edokpayi says:

    Mr Obaisiagbon,
    There is nothing wrong having a preference, Gov Osho is a human being and therefore do have the right to make is own choice just as you have. Making a choice does not mean the person will automatically be the flag bearer of the party, there are more work to be done, so criticizing the Gov for his choice is premature and unfair to him.
    The Gov has worked with most of these guys and therefore knows who is more capable to lead and move the sate forward.
    Secondly, the issue of him been a mistake to the state is also a mistake from you, if he`s a mistake in your own eyes, he`s not to many others that kept him there, to many he has been a blessing to the state after Ogbemudia and Alli.
    Sit and make comparison with those before him except those two mentioned above.
    Peace and love.

  7. Nosa Edokpayi says:

    Mr Osaro Igbinovia,
    Please go back and read the story in a much deeper understanding before placing any comment, you will see that the Obaseki family migrated to Nsukwa according to the story and then returned back home to benin as quoted “first Obi of Nsukwa himself was the son of Oba Ehengbuda (ca 1578 A.D)from Benin”. So,is it a crime, my friend, when a child or grand children decides to go back home?
    This is how shallow understandings of stories leads to confusion, please my guy, always read, understand and then talk.
    One Love.

  8. Adesuwa Star says:

    You ask Ize-Iyamu if they are related to Obasekis since you are obviously ignorant about the information and Benin history. Educate your self

  9. Adesuwa Star says:

    And you know better than all the Obas since Ovoranmwen that have honored various Obasekis on various occasions and the Omono Oba nedo uku akpolokpo, Oba Erediauwa who felicitates with Obasekis every igue through gifts. Please do not attempt to denigrate a whole clan over politics.

  10. I will draw the attention of the Obasekis on your Facebook friend list to come and see what you wrote about their Patriarch because of your ‘stomach infrastructure’.

  11. Educate yourself Faith Iguodala Okoro before you spew your venom.

    Chief Agho Obaseki restored the Obaship and preserved the culture and tradition of Benin Kingdom and People.

    You are one of the ‘political propagandist’. I see you are a keen supporter of Ize-Iyamu. Don’t drag my family name through the mud because of your ‘stomach infrastructure’.

  12. The Benin Kingdom and People should also know that Oba Ovonranmwen N’gbaisi sought refuge in Chief Agho Obaseki’s house when his Palace and Kingdom was razed to the ground owing to the British expedition and until giving himself up to the British Colonialist. Oba Ovonramwen N’gbaisi and Chief Agho Obaseki were childhood friends; both enjoyed a blissful and trustworthy relationship before and after Oba Ovonramwen N’gbaisi was banished to Calabar.

  13. MR Eweka Obaisiagbon, I am not on this platform to pass judgement on Governor Adams Aliu Oshiomhole for doing or knowing what he deems right. Let Edo People decide who their next Governor should be irrespective of party or religious affiliation, family background, educational qualification, etc. As you are well aware,’the voice of the People, is the voice of God’.
    Furthermore, I won’t think Governor Adams Aliu Oshiomhole will undermine the Bini People and the Benin royal family which the OBASEKI FAMILY has been a part since time immemorial. The OBASEKI FAMILY have made themselves relevant and served Humanity, God and their Obas for over 438 years. So who is the perceived enemy??????

    Chief Agho Obaseki

    Chief Agho Obaseki was the great great grand son of the Obi of Nsukwa, in the now Aniocha region of the Delta State of Nigeria. The first Obi of Nsukwa himself was the son of King Ehengbuda (about 1578 A.D). Chief Agho Obaseki was the last child of his father, Ogbeide. To understand Agho’s fortune in life, it is necessary to trace how he became connected and the important role he played at the royal house in Benin. It all began with his great grand father, Prince Emokhua N’Obo (the native doctor) who had a dispute with his brother over the accession to the throne of their father, Obi of Nsukwa, during the time of King Akengbuda’s in about 1750 A.D. During King Akenghbuda’s reign, Prince Emokhua and his son, Osifo (Also known as Alias Oyoo) relocated to Isi, which is roughly 15 miles Southwest of Nsukwa. His departure from Nsukwa was a result of the bitter dispute with his brother over the throne of Nsukwa. In Isi, Prince Emokhua N’Obo subsequently settled down with his son, Osifo (Alias Oyoo) at the direction of King Akengbuda who was the supreme ruler of the entire Edo kingdom.

    However, when King Akengbuda passed to beyond, after a very long reign, King Obanosa (named so, because of his long stay as the heir apparent) succeeded him, but did not last long on the throne. Upon the passing away of King Obanosa, there was a political struggle and intrigues played by key members of the house of Iwebo, the highest of the palace associations. Due to these political intrigues by some of the high ranking chiefs in the house of Iwebo, Prince Ogbebor the second son was crowned, instead of Prince Erediauwa, the rightful heir. Soon, Prince Erediauwa was declared a fugitive by his brother Ogbebor, who quickly consolidated power. Prince Erediauwa’s flee from his brother Ogbebor landed him in Isi. Upon arriving in Isi, Prince Erediauwa met Osifo Oyoo, who was very sympathetic to the young Prince Erediauwa plight, because of the same predicament that befell his father Prince Emokhua N’Obo years before. They quickly connected, without much hard sell or conviction.

    Osifo Oyoo was not only sympathetic to Prince Erediauwa’s plight, but went out of his way to help the young Prince, including housing him and being a part of his strategist to win back his throne. Since it was dangerous and suicidal for Prince Erediauwa to remain in Edo land or for anyone to be seen helping the young Prince, with his brother Prince Ogbebor on the throne and in control of the Edo army, he sought refuge in Ewohimi, his mother’s home town. Osifo instead ordered his young son, Ogbeide to accompany Prince Erediauwa as a guard to Ewohimi and serve him, while he himself continued to reside in Isi to execute some of the strategies to get him back on the throne. It was in Isi, Ogie (son of the Ezomo of Benin and one of the Uzama chiefs) [Ref. 1] who also was also helping Prince Erediauwa met Osifo and they both coordinated their strategies.

    When Prince Erediauwa finally defeated his brother Ogbebor, he was crowned and assumed the title King Osemwende. Chief Obaseki’s father, Ogbeide now a young man was rewarded with a lower chieftaincy title. Chief Ogbeide was highly trusted, having been with king Osemwende throughout his ordeal, without any waver of allegiance and was considered one of the members of the inner circle of King Osemwende. Although, Ogbeide started as Omada (the scepter bearer), the lowest rank in the palace, he nevertheless rose rapidly under King Osemwende’s reign. After King Osemwende passed to beyond, King Adolor ascended the throne in 1848 A.D. Chief Ogbeide was further rewarded and elevated in rank until he attained the position as the head of Ibiwe (one of the palace associations, the custodians of the Princes) and was titled the Inneh of Ibiwe. This later palace association is the third in rank to the other two associations, Iwebo and Iwegua and is divided into two, one headed by Chief Oshodi who is in charge of the King wives and harem and the other by the Inneh, who is charged with the raising of the heir apparent and princes. It was during Ogbeide’s role as the inneh of Ibiwe and being the custodian of the heir apparent, Agho his son became very close to Prince Idugbowa (later crowned King Ovonramwen in 1888).

    When Ogbeide died, Agho still a young boy lived at different times with his elder brothers, Ozuwa and Ogbomo. When things did not work out well for him at his brother’s Ozuwa’s place, Agho finally relocated to Iguovionoba, where his brother Ogbomo was residing, which is about 35 miles from Benin City and also very close to his mother’s village Okha. However, his stay at Iguovionoba was short lived, because of a dispute with one of the high ranking elders there. When life became unbearable and under constant threat, he relocated back to Benin City and sought the help of Prince Idugbowa, his childhood friend. Once again, their friendship was rekindled and never to be broken. Agho now a young man lived with his friend, Prince Idugbowa and started trading in cash crops such as oil, timber and spices. He became successful and grew more powerful, because of the support he got from Prince Idugbowa.

    His break came in 1888 A.D, when King Adolor passed to beyond without bestowing Prince Idugbowa with the Edaiken title, a coronation that confirms the heir apparent and erase all doubts as to who will be the next king. Agho realizing the intrigues that the high ranking chiefs in Iwebo and Iwegua were planning against Prince Idugbowa, he did not waste time and urged his friend to move straight to the palace to claim his rights [Ref. 2]. It was rumored King Ovoramwen was never made Edaiken, but fulfilled that rights only after the coronation. After King Ovoramwen was crowned, he rewarded Agho with a chieftaincy title. Also, King Ovoramwen did not trust the Iwegua chiefs, those directly in charge of his quarters, because of the role they played in his coronation and was also rumored he did not sleep in the Iwegua quarters for almost two years until his enemies were gotten rid off [Ref. 2]. Not to leave any stone un-turn, he created the title Obaseki and bestowed it on Agho and made #3 high ranking chief in the Iwegua house. Ordinarily, Chief Obaseki would have belonged to the Ibiwe, the palace association his father, Chief Ogbeide headed.

    The 1897 Benin massacre was another dark period for the Edo nation. After the 1897 Benin massacre, King Ovonramwen was exiled to Calabar and this partially broke the friendship between Chief Obaseki and his childhood friend. The role King Ovonramwen made Chief Obaseki played during the aftermath of the massacre, as a go between him and the British conquerors, especially during the bitter trial, placed Chief Obaseki in a precarious position. Also, after King Ovonramwen was exiled to Calabar, the subsequent elevation of Chief Obaseki to the position of control of Edo government by the British during the inter-regnum, made the Edos very suspicious of Chief Obaseki.

    Chief Obaseki realizing the banishment of his childhood friend into exile was for real, he ordered his second son to follow King Ovonramwen to Calabar to serve him in his place. Chief Obaseki second son never returned from Calabar to Benin until January 1914, when King Ovonramwen was called to beyond. Rewarding Chief Obaseki for his unwavering loyalty and support, King Ovonramwen in 1908 betrothed his last daughter, Princess Orimwinamen to him [Ref. 3]. King Ovonramwen probably did this to quiet the various allegations that were brewing in Edo, that Chief Obaseki wanted to be the King, which king Ovonramwen did not buy into. Although King Ovonramwen was exiled in Calabar, communication between the two friends remained intact, a fact not known to many Edos.

    When King Ovonramwen passed to beyond in January 1914, King Eweka was crowned, but not without controversy. The British in attempt to cause confusion between the heir apparent and Chief Obaseki, insisted that Chief Obaseki continued to be in charge, which Chief Obaseki refused sighting primogeniture law of Edoland. Later during King Eweka’s reign, he rewarded Chief Obaseki for his relentless service to the Edo people, and bestowed the Iyase title on him [Ref. 3 and 4]. Therefore, Agho became famous for having held two titles, Obaseki of Benin and Iyase of Benin (the prime minister of Edo Nation). As a further reward for his dedication to the Edo and to silence Chief Obaseki critics, King Eweka betrothed Princess Ebose (King’s daughter) to him in 1918 [Ref. 5]. However, Chief Obaseki died in September 9, 1920.

    References for more details:

    1. Ekhaguosa, Aisien (1991), The Stories From Old Benin – Erediauwa Prince of Benin

    2. Bradbury, R.E., (1957), The Benin Kingdom, International Institute

    3. Igbafe, Philip Aigbona, (1972), Obaseki of Benin, Heinemann: Ibadan

    4. Igbafe, Philip Aigbona (1991). The nemesis of power: Agho Obaseki and Benin politics, 1897-1956. Yaba, Lagos, Macmillan Nigeria

    5. Chief Jacob A. Egharevba: Short history of Benin

  14. Obaseki is an insult to Benin people, if he dares to contest. We have not forgotten. Agho humiliated Oba Ovonramwen and Oba Eweka while Benin was weak. Not anymore. We will resist their children. Yes, Enough said!

  15. Chief Agho Obaseki

    Chief Agho Obaseki was the great great grand son of the Obi of Nsukwa, in the now Aniocha region of the Delta State of Nigeria. The first Obi of Nsukwa himself was the son of King Ehengbuda (about 1578 A.D). Chief Agho Obaseki was the last child of his father, Ogbeide. To understand Agho’s fortune in life, it is necessary to trace how he became connected and the important role he played at the royal house in Benin. It all began with his great grand father, Prince Emokhua N’Obo (the native doctor) who had a dispute with his brother over the accession to the throne of their father, Obi of Nsukwa, during the time of King Akengbuda’s in about 1750 A.D. During King Akenghbuda’s reign, Prince Emokhua and his son, Osifo (Also known as Alias Oyoo) relocated to Isi, which is roughly 15 miles Southwest of Nsukwa. His departure from Nsukwa was a result of the bitter dispute with his brother over the throne of Nsukwa. In Isi, Prince Emokhua N’Obo subsequently settled down with his son, Osifo (Alias Oyoo) at the direction of King Akengbuda who was the supreme ruler of the entire Edo kingdom.

    However, when King Akengbuda passed to beyond, after a very long reign, King Obanosa (named so, because of his long stay as the heir apparent) succeeded him, but did not last long on the throne. Upon the passing away of King Obanosa, there was a political struggle and intrigues played by key members of the house of Iwebo, the highest of the palace associations. Due to these political intrigues by some of the high ranking chiefs in the house of Iwebo, Prince Ogbebor the second son was crowned, instead of Prince Erediauwa, the rightful heir. Soon, Prince Erediauwa was declared a fugitive by his brother Ogbebor, who quickly consolidated power. Prince Erediauwa’s flee from his brother Ogbebor landed him in Isi. Upon arriving in Isi, Prince Erediauwa met Osifo Oyoo, who was very sympathetic to the young Prince Erediauwa plight, because of the same predicament that befell his father Prince Emokhua N’Obo years before. They quickly connected, without much hard sell or conviction.

    Osifo Oyoo was not only sympathetic to Prince Erediauwa’s plight, but went out of his way to help the young Prince, including housing him and being a part of his strategist to win back his throne. Since it was dangerous and suicidal for Prince Erediauwa to remain in Edo land or for anyone to be seen helping the young Prince, with his brother Prince Ogbebor on the throne and in control of the Edo army, he sought refuge in Ewohimi, his mother’s home town. Osifo instead ordered his young son, Ogbeide to accompany Prince Erediauwa as a guard to Ewohimi and serve him, while he himself continued to reside in Isi to execute some of the strategies to get him back on the throne. It was in Isi, Ogie (son of the Ezomo of Benin and one of the Uzama chiefs) [Ref. 1] who also was also helping Prince Erediauwa met Osifo and they both coordinated their strategies.

    When Prince Erediauwa finally defeated his brother Ogbebor, he was crowned and assumed the title King Osemwende. Chief Obaseki’s father, Ogbeide now a young man was rewarded with a lower chieftaincy title. Chief Ogbeide was highly trusted, having been with king Osemwende throughout his ordeal, without any waver of allegiance and was considered one of the members of the inner circle of King Osemwende. Although, Ogbeide started as Omada (the scepter bearer), the lowest rank in the palace, he nevertheless rose rapidly under King Osemwende’s reign. After King Osemwende passed to beyond, King Adolor ascended the throne in 1848 A.D. Chief Ogbeide was further rewarded and elevated in rank until he attained the position as the head of Ibiwe (one of the palace associations, the custodians of the Princes) and was titled the Inneh of Ibiwe. This later palace association is the third in rank to the other two associations, Iwebo and Iwegua and is divided into two, one headed by Chief Oshodi who is in charge of the King wives and harem and the other by the Inneh, who is charged with the raising of the heir apparent and princes. It was during Ogbeide’s role as the inneh of Ibiwe and being the custodian of the heir apparent, Agho his son became very close to Prince Idugbowa (later crowned King Ovonramwen in 1888).

    When Ogbeide died, Agho still a young boy lived at different times with his elder brothers, Ozuwa and Ogbomo. When things did not work out well for him at his brother’s Ozuwa’s place, Agho finally relocated to Iguovionoba, where his brother Ogbomo was residing, which is about 35 miles from Benin City and also very close to his mother’s village Okha. However, his stay at Iguovionoba was short lived, because of a dispute with one of the high ranking elders there. When life became unbearable and under constant threat, he relocated back to Benin City and sought the help of Prince Idugbowa, his childhood friend. Once again, their friendship was rekindled and never to be broken. Agho now a young man lived with his friend, Prince Idugbowa and started trading in cash crops such as oil, timber and spices. He became successful and grew more powerful, because of the support he got from Prince Idugbowa.

    His break came in 1888 A.D, when King Adolor passed to beyond without bestowing Prince Idugbowa with the Edaiken title, a coronation that confirms the heir apparent and erase all doubts as to who will be the next king. Agho realizing the intrigues that the high ranking chiefs in Iwebo and Iwegua were planning against Prince Idugbowa, he did not waste time and urged his friend to move straight to the palace to claim his rights [Ref. 2]. It was rumored King Ovoramwen was never made Edaiken, but fulfilled that rights only after the coronation. After King Ovoramwen was crowned, he rewarded Agho with a chieftaincy title. Also, King Ovoramwen did not trust the Iwegua chiefs, those directly in charge of his quarters, because of the role they played in his coronation and was also rumored he did not sleep in the Iwegua quarters for almost two years until his enemies were gotten rid off [Ref. 2]. Not to leave any stone un-turn, he created the title Obaseki and bestowed it on Agho and made #3 high ranking chief in the Iwegua house. Ordinarily, Chief Obaseki would have belonged to the Ibiwe, the palace association his father, Chief Ogbeide headed.

    The 1897 Benin massacre was another dark period for the Edo nation. After the 1897 Benin massacre, King Ovonramwen was exiled to Calabar and this partially broke the friendship between Chief Obaseki and his childhood friend. The role King Ovonramwen made Chief Obaseki played during the aftermath of the massacre, as a go between him and the British conquerors, especially during the bitter trial, placed Chief Obaseki in a precarious position. Also, after King Ovonramwen was exiled to Calabar, the subsequent elevation of Chief Obaseki to the position of control of Edo government by the British during the inter-regnum, made the Edos very suspicious of Chief Obaseki.

    Chief Obaseki realizing the banishment of his childhood friend into exile was for real, he ordered his second son to follow King Ovonramwen to Calabar to serve him in his place. Chief Obaseki second son never returned from Calabar to Benin until January 1914, when King Ovonramwen was called to beyond. Rewarding Chief Obaseki for his unwavering loyalty and support, King Ovonramwen in 1908 betrothed his last daughter, Princess Orimwinamen to him [Ref. 3]. King Ovonramwen probably did this to quiet the various allegations that were brewing in Edo, that Chief Obaseki wanted to be the King, which king Ovonramwen did not buy into. Although King Ovonramwen was exiled in Calabar, communication between the two friends remained intact, a fact not known to many Edos.

    When King Ovonramwen passed to beyond in January 1914, King Eweka was crowned, but not without controversy. The British in attempt to cause confusion between the heir apparent and Chief Obaseki, insisted that Chief Obaseki continued to be in charge, which Chief Obaseki refused sighting primogeniture law of Edoland. Later during King Eweka’s reign, he rewarded Chief Obaseki for his relentless service to the Edo people, and bestowed the Iyase title on him [Ref. 3 and 4]. Therefore, Agho became famous for having held two titles, Obaseki of Benin and Iyase of Benin (the prime minister of Edo Nation). As a further reward for his dedication to the Edo and to silence Chief Obaseki critics, King Eweka betrothed Princess Ebose (King’s daughter) to him in 1918 [Ref. 5]. However, Chief Obaseki died in September 9, 1920.

    References for more details:

    1. Ekhaguosa, Aisien (1991), The Stories From Old Benin – Erediauwa Prince of Benin

    2. Bradbury, R.E., (1957), The Benin Kingdom, International Institute

    3. Igbafe, Philip Aigbona, (1972), Obaseki of Benin, Heinemann: Ibadan

    4. Igbafe, Philip Aigbona (1991). The nemesis of power: Agho Obaseki and Benin politics, 1897-1956. Yaba, Lagos, Macmillan Nigeria

    5. Chief Jacob A. Egharevba: Short history of Benin

  16. Osaro Igbinovia how did my Great-grand Dad, Chief Agho Obaseki betray our Great and Esteemed Oba Ovonramwen N’obaisi? Please, read my contribution below and be properly informed. The OBASEKIS of Benin Kingdom are PRINCES and PRINCESSES of Benin Kingdom by birth because they draw their blue-blood and are from the loins of Oba Ehengbuda (about 1578 A.D) whom was the father of the first Obi of Nsukwa and from which Chief Agho Obaseki has his roots.

  17. Will Usoh says:

    You are a betrayal of truth. The reason Agho Presided during Oba Ovonranmwen stay in calabar as because he was the Iyase of Benin empire at that time. He simply performed the duties and responsibilities as a prime minister. He did not betray anyone nor the Edo people

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    Chief Agho Obaseki

    Chief Agho Obaseki was the great great grand son of the Obi of Nsukwa, in the now Aniocha region of the Delta State of Nigeria. The first Obi of Nsukwa himself was the son of King Ehengbuda (about 1578 A.D). Chief Agho Obaseki was the last child of his father, Ogbeide. To understand Agho’s fortune in life, it is necessary to trace how he became connected and the important role he played at the royal house in Benin. It all began with his great grand father, Prince Emokhua N’Obo (the native doctor) who had a dispute with his brother over the accession to the throne of their father, Obi of Nsukwa, during the time of King Akengbuda’s in about 1750 A.D. During King Akenghbuda’s reign, Prince Emokhua and his son, Osifo (Also known as Alias Oyoo) relocated to Isi, which is roughly 15 miles Southwest of Nsukwa. His departure from Nsukwa was a result of the bitter dispute with his brother over the throne of Nsukwa. In Isi, Prince Emokhua N’Obo subsequently settled down with his son, Osifo (Alias Oyoo) at the direction of King Akengbuda who was the supreme ruler of the entire Edo kingdom.

    However, when King Akengbuda passed to beyond, after a very long reign, King Obanosa (named so, because of his long stay as the heir apparent) succeeded him, but did not last long on the throne. Upon the passing away of King Obanosa, there was a political struggle and intrigues played by key members of the house of Iwebo, the highest of the palace associations. Due to these political intrigues by some of the high ranking chiefs in the house of Iwebo, Prince Ogbebor the second son was crowned, instead of Prince Erediauwa, the rightful heir. Soon, Prince Erediauwa was declared a fugitive by his brother Ogbebor, who quickly consolidated power. Prince Erediauwa’s flee from his brother Ogbebor landed him in Isi. Upon arriving in Isi, Prince Erediauwa met Osifo Oyoo, who was very sympathetic to the young Prince Erediauwa plight, because of the same predicament that befell his father Prince Emokhua N’Obo years before. They quickly connected, without much hard sell or conviction.

    Osifo Oyoo was not only sympathetic to Prince Erediauwa’s plight, but went out of his way to help the young Prince, including housing him and being a part of his strategist to win back his throne. Since it was dangerous and suicidal for Prince Erediauwa to remain in Edo land or for anyone to be seen helping the young Prince, with his brother Prince Ogbebor on the throne and in control of the Edo army, he sought refuge in Ewohimi, his mother’s home town. Osifo instead ordered his young son, Ogbeide to accompany Prince Erediauwa as a guard to Ewohimi and serve him, while he himself continued to reside in Isi to execute some of the strategies to get him back on the throne. It was in Isi, Ogie (son of the Ezomo of Benin and one of the Uzama chiefs) [Ref. 1] who also was also helping Prince Erediauwa met Osifo and they both coordinated their strategies.

    When Prince Erediauwa finally defeated his brother Ogbebor, he was crowned and assumed the title King Osemwende. Chief Obaseki’s father, Ogbeide now a young man was rewarded with a lower chieftaincy title. Chief Ogbeide was highly trusted, having been with king Osemwende throughout his ordeal, without any waver of allegiance and was considered one of the members of the inner circle of King Osemwende. Although, Ogbeide started as Omada (the scepter bearer), the lowest rank in the palace, he nevertheless rose rapidly under King Osemwende’s reign. After King Osemwende passed to beyond, King Adolor ascended the throne in 1848 A.D. Chief Ogbeide was further rewarded and elevated in rank until he attained the position as the head of Ibiwe (one of the palace associations, the custodians of the Princes) and was titled the Inneh of Ibiwe. This later palace association is the third in rank to the other two associations, Iwebo and Iwegua and is divided into two, one headed by Chief Oshodi who is in charge of the King wives and harem and the other by the Inneh, who is charged with the raising of the heir apparent and princes. It was during Ogbeide’s role as the inneh of Ibiwe and being the custodian of the heir apparent, Agho his son became very close to Prince Idugbowa (later crowned King Ovonramwen in 1888).

    When Ogbeide died, Agho still a young boy lived at different times with his elder brothers, Ozuwa and Ogbomo. When things did not work out well for him at his brother’s Ozuwa’s place, Agho finally relocated to Iguovionoba, where his brother Ogbomo was residing, which is about 35 miles from Benin City and also very close to his mother’s village Okha. However, his stay at Iguovionoba was short lived, because of a dispute with one of the high ranking elders there. When life became unbearable and under constant threat, he relocated back to Benin City and sought the help of Prince Idugbowa, his childhood friend. Once again, their friendship was rekindled and never to be broken. Agho now a young man lived with his friend, Prince Idugbowa and started trading in cash crops such as oil, timber and spices. He became successful and grew more powerful, because of the support he got from Prince Idugbowa.

    His break came in 1888 A.D, when King Adolor passed to beyond without bestowing Prince Idugbowa with the Edaiken title, a coronation that confirms the heir apparent and erase all doubts as to who will be the next king. Agho realizing the intrigues that the high ranking chiefs in Iwebo and Iwegua were planning against Prince Idugbowa, he did not waste time and urged his friend to move straight to the palace to claim his rights [Ref. 2]. It was rumored King Ovoramwen was never made Edaiken, but fulfilled that rights only after the coronation. After King Ovoramwen was crowned, he rewarded Agho with a chieftaincy title. Also, King Ovoramwen did not trust the Iwegua chiefs, those directly in charge of his quarters, because of the role they played in his coronation and was also rumored he did not sleep in the Iwegua quarters for almost two years until his enemies were gotten rid off [Ref. 2]. Not to leave any stone un-turn, he created the title Obaseki and bestowed it on Agho and made #3 high ranking chief in the Iwegua house. Ordinarily, Chief Obaseki would have belonged to the Ibiwe, the palace association his father, Chief Ogbeide headed.

    The 1897 Benin massacre was another dark period for the Edo nation. After the 1897 Benin massacre, King Ovonramwen was exiled to Calabar and this partially broke the friendship between Chief Obaseki and his childhood friend. The role King Ovonramwen made Chief Obaseki played during the aftermath of the massacre, as a go between him and the British conquerors, especially during the bitter trial, placed Chief Obaseki in a precarious position. Also, after King Ovonramwen was exiled to Calabar, the subsequent elevation of Chief Obaseki to the position of control of Edo government by the British during the inter-regnum, made the Edos very suspicious of Chief Obaseki.

    Chief Obaseki realizing the banishment of his childhood friend into exile was for real, he ordered his second son to follow King Ovonramwen to Calabar to serve him in his place. Chief Obaseki second son never returned from Calabar to Benin until January 1914, when King Ovonramwen was called to beyond. Rewarding Chief Obaseki for his unwavering loyalty and support, King Ovonramwen in 1908 betrothed his last daughter, Princess Orimwinamen to him [Ref. 3]. King Ovonramwen probably did this to quiet the various allegations that were brewing in Edo, that Chief Obaseki wanted to be the King, which king Ovonramwen did not buy into. Although King Ovonramwen was exiled in Calabar, communication between the two friends remained intact, a fact not known to many Edos.

    When King Ovonramwen passed to beyond in January 1914, King Eweka was crowned, but not without controversy. The British in attempt to cause confusion between the heir apparent and Chief Obaseki, insisted that Chief Obaseki continued to be in charge, which Chief Obaseki refused sighting primogeniture law of Edoland. Later during King Eweka’s reign, he rewarded Chief Obaseki for his relentless service to the Edo people, and bestowed the Iyase title on him [Ref. 3 and 4]. Therefore, Agho became famous for having held two titles, Obaseki of Benin and Iyase of Benin (the prime minister of Edo Nation). As a further reward for his dedication to the Edo and to silence Chief Obaseki critics, King Eweka betrothed Princess Ebose (King’s daughter) to him in 1918 [Ref. 5]. However, Chief Obaseki died in September 9, 1920.

    References for more details:

    1. Ekhaguosa, Aisien (1991), The Stories From Old Benin – Erediauwa Prince of Benin

    2. Bradbury, R.E., (1957), The Benin Kingdom, International Institute

    3. Igbafe, Philip Aigbona, (1972), Obaseki of Benin, Heinemann: Ibadan

    4. Igbafe, Philip Aigbona (1991). The nemesis of power: Agho Obaseki and Benin politics, 1897-1956. Yaba, Lagos, Macmillan Nigeria

    5. Chief Jacob A. Egharevba: Short history of Benin

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  19. Chief Agho Obaseki

    Chief Agho Obaseki was the great great grand son of the Obi of Nsukwa, in the now Aniocha region of the Delta State of Nigeria. The first Obi of Nsukwa himself was the son of King Ehengbuda (about 1578 A.D). Chief Agho Obaseki was the last child of his father, Ogbeide. To understand Agho’s fortune in life, it is necessary to trace how he became connected and the important role he played at the royal house in Benin. It all began with his great grand father, Prince Emokhua N’Obo (the native doctor) who had a dispute with his brother over the accession to the throne of their father, Obi of Nsukwa, during the time of King Akengbuda’s in about 1750 A.D. During King Akenghbuda’s reign, Prince Emokhua and his son, Osifo (Also known as Alias Oyoo) relocated to Isi, which is roughly 15 miles Southwest of Nsukwa. His departure from Nsukwa was a result of the bitter dispute with his brother over the throne of Nsukwa. In Isi, Prince Emokhua N’Obo subsequently settled down with his son, Osifo (Alias Oyoo) at the direction of King Akengbuda who was the supreme ruler of the entire Edo kingdom.

    However, when King Akengbuda passed to beyond, after a very long reign, King Obanosa (named so, because of his long stay as the heir apparent) succeeded him, but did not last long on the throne. Upon the passing away of King Obanosa, there was a political struggle and intrigues played by key members of the house of Iwebo, the highest of the palace associations. Due to these political intrigues by some of the high ranking chiefs in the house of Iwebo, Prince Ogbebor the second son was crowned, instead of Prince Erediauwa, the rightful heir. Soon, Prince Erediauwa was declared a fugitive by his brother Ogbebor, who quickly consolidated power. Prince Erediauwa’s flee from his brother Ogbebor landed him in Isi. Upon arriving in Isi, Prince Erediauwa met Osifo Oyoo, who was very sympathetic to the young Prince Erediauwa plight, because of the same predicament that befell his father Prince Emokhua N’Obo years before. They quickly connected, without much hard sell or conviction.

    Osifo Oyoo was not only sympathetic to Prince Erediauwa’s plight, but went out of his way to help the young Prince, including housing him and being a part of his strategist to win back his throne. Since it was dangerous and suicidal for Prince Erediauwa to remain in Edo land or for anyone to be seen helping the young Prince, with his brother Prince Ogbebor on the throne and in control of the Edo army, he sought refuge in Ewohimi, his mother’s home town. Osifo instead ordered his young son, Ogbeide to accompany Prince Erediauwa as a guard to Ewohimi and serve him, while he himself continued to reside in Isi to execute some of the strategies to get him back on the throne. It was in Isi, Ogie (son of the Ezomo of Benin and one of the Uzama chiefs) [Ref. 1] who also was also helping Prince Erediauwa met Osifo and they both coordinated their strategies.

    When Prince Erediauwa finally defeated his brother Ogbebor, he was crowned and assumed the title King Osemwende. Chief Obaseki’s father, Ogbeide now a young man was rewarded with a lower chieftaincy title. Chief Ogbeide was highly trusted, having been with king Osemwende throughout his ordeal, without any waver of allegiance and was considered one of the members of the inner circle of King Osemwende. Although, Ogbeide started as Omada (the scepter bearer), the lowest rank in the palace, he nevertheless rose rapidly under King Osemwende’s reign. After King Osemwende passed to beyond, King Adolor ascended the throne in 1848 A.D. Chief Ogbeide was further rewarded and elevated in rank until he attained the position as the head of Ibiwe (one of the palace associations, the custodians of the Princes) and was titled the Inneh of Ibiwe. This later palace association is the third in rank to the other two associations, Iwebo and Iwegua and is divided into two, one headed by Chief Oshodi who is in charge of the King wives and harem and the other by the Inneh, who is charged with the raising of the heir apparent and princes. It was during Ogbeide’s role as the inneh of Ibiwe and being the custodian of the heir apparent, Agho his son became very close to Prince Idugbowa (later crowned King Ovonramwen in 1888).

    When Ogbeide died, Agho still a young boy lived at different times with his elder brothers, Ozuwa and Ogbomo. When things did not work out well for him at his brother’s Ozuwa’s place, Agho finally relocated to Iguovionoba, where his brother Ogbomo was residing, which is about 35 miles from Benin City and also very close to his mother’s village Okha. However, his stay at Iguovionoba was short lived, because of a dispute with one of the high ranking elders there. When life became unbearable and under constant threat, he relocated back to Benin City and sought the help of Prince Idugbowa, his childhood friend. Once again, their friendship was rekindled and never to be broken. Agho now a young man lived with his friend, Prince Idugbowa and started trading in cash crops such as oil, timber and spices. He became successful and grew more powerful, because of the support he got from Prince Idugbowa.

    His break came in 1888 A.D, when King Adolor passed to beyond without bestowing Prince Idugbowa with the Edaiken title, a coronation that confirms the heir apparent and erase all doubts as to who will be the next king. Agho realizing the intrigues that the high ranking chiefs in Iwebo and Iwegua were planning against Prince Idugbowa, he did not waste time and urged his friend to move straight to the palace to claim his rights [Ref. 2]. It was rumored King Ovoramwen was never made Edaiken, but fulfilled that rights only after the coronation. After King Ovoramwen was crowned, he rewarded Agho with a chieftaincy title. Also, King Ovoramwen did not trust the Iwegua chiefs, those directly in charge of his quarters, because of the role they played in his coronation and was also rumored he did not sleep in the Iwegua quarters for almost two years until his enemies were gotten rid off [Ref. 2]. Not to leave any stone un-turn, he created the title Obaseki and bestowed it on Agho and made #3 high ranking chief in the Iwegua house. Ordinarily, Chief Obaseki would have belonged to the Ibiwe, the palace association his father, Chief Ogbeide headed.

    The 1897 Benin massacre was another dark period for the Edo nation. After the 1897 Benin massacre, King Ovonramwen was exiled to Calabar and this partially broke the friendship between Chief Obaseki and his childhood friend. The role King Ovonramwen made Chief Obaseki played during the aftermath of the massacre, as a go between him and the British conquerors, especially during the bitter trial, placed Chief Obaseki in a precarious position. Also, after King Ovonramwen was exiled to Calabar, the subsequent elevation of Chief Obaseki to the position of control of Edo government by the British during the inter-regnum, made the Edos very suspicious of Chief Obaseki.

    Chief Obaseki realizing the banishment of his childhood friend into exile was for real, he ordered his second son to follow King Ovonramwen to Calabar to serve him in his place. Chief Obaseki second son never returned from Calabar to Benin until January 1914, when King Ovonramwen was called to beyond. Rewarding Chief Obaseki for his unwavering loyalty and support, King Ovonramwen in 1908 betrothed his last daughter, Princess Orimwinamen to him [Ref. 3]. King Ovonramwen probably did this to quiet the various allegations that were brewing in Edo, that Chief Obaseki wanted to be the King, which king Ovonramwen did not buy into. Although King Ovonramwen was exiled in Calabar, communication between the two friends remained intact, a fact not known to many Edos.

    When King Ovonramwen passed to beyond in January 1914, King Eweka was crowned, but not without controversy. The British in attempt to cause confusion between the heir apparent and Chief Obaseki, insisted that Chief Obaseki continued to be in charge, which Chief Obaseki refused sighting primogeniture law of Edoland. Later during King Eweka’s reign, he rewarded Chief Obaseki for his relentless service to the Edo people, and bestowed the Iyase title on him [Ref. 3 and 4]. Therefore, Agho became famous for having held two titles, Obaseki of Benin and Iyase of Benin (the prime minister of Edo Nation). As a further reward for his dedication to the Edo and to silence Chief Obaseki critics, King Eweka betrothed Princess Ebose (King’s daughter) to him in 1918 [Ref. 5]. However, Chief Obaseki died in September 9, 1920.

    References for more details:

    1. Ekhaguosa, Aisien (1991), The Stories From Old Benin – Erediauwa Prince of Benin

    2. Bradbury, R.E., (1957), The Benin Kingdom, International Institute

    3. Igbafe, Philip Aigbona, (1972), Obaseki of Benin, Heinemann: Ibadan

    4. Igbafe, Philip Aigbona (1991). The nemesis of power: Agho Obaseki and Benin politics, 1897-1956. Yaba, Lagos, Macmillan Nigeria

    5. Chief Jacob A. Egharevba: Short history of Benin

  20. Ayezuma says:

    Please, Ogbeide nor’Ineh is a complete different one for the Ogbeide Oyoo. Ogbeide nor’Ineh is the sone of Iyase n’Oremwen the richest Benin man during his days. Who is nephew to Oba Osemwende.

    Incase, you do not know, it was Agho, that went to bring Oba Ovoranmwen from hiding. It was same the same Agho that that told the British to cut the ‘Egba’ around Oba Ovoranmwen’s waist to render him incapacitated.

    The Obaseki isn’t related to the Iyase n’Oremwen’s family. Ask Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu if they are related. I hate when people use fictions for truth.

    I don’t have anything against the Obasekis, but they shouldn’t tamper with history, especially at this time.

  21. Cecil Ikhide Ohiwerei says:

    This is a great eye opener. I never knew we have such a great history.

    From my calculation, this year will make the 119 years that the british invaded and defeated the benin kingdom. I think its time to start a new feast in edo stste – the return of the Obaship. You guys can think about it. i have some good idea it

  22. Eweka Obaisiagbon says:

    Oshiomhole is a mistake. If he succeeds at imposing Obaseki on the Edo people, he would have succeededm, using the backdoor, to undermine the Benin people and ofcourse, our royal family. The friend of an enemy is an enemy. Simple.

  23. Osaro Igbinovia says:

    The truth of the matter is that Agho Obaseki is a betrayer who betrayed our great Oba Ovoranmwen N’ogbaisi nd married his daughter nd also sent his son to watch over our great Oba nd he is an IBO man from ANIOCHA

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