Oba-in-waiting: New Oba of Benin ascends throne today to succeed Oba Erediuwa.

Prince Eheneden Erediauwa will be crowned as the 39th Oba of Benin kingdom in a colourful ceremony today (Thursday). VP Osibanjo will represent President Buhari at the elaborate ceremony.

The ancient kingdom, which used to be called Igodomigodo, will have a new King after the death of Oba Erediauwa, the 38th King, in April.

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The center and major streets in ancient Benin are wearing a new look.

The new palace, built by Prince Erediauwa, is an architectural masterpiece.

The palace ground enjoys landscapping for the first time in over 900 years. The palace was also adorned with glittering electricity bulbs at strategic places.

All the major roads to the city center had been condoned off since Wednesday.

The Oba Ovoranmwen Square was closed to traffic. Prohibition of commercial activities around the Square is also in place. Posters and banners of Prince Erediauwa adorned the streets of Benin.

Already, Prince Erediauwa has played the Akhue game at the Ediaken N’Use Palace. Consequently, he has chosen the name he will answer as the Oba as tradition demands.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole will unveil the name today at the presentation of the Staff of Office.

His children will also stop using Erediauwa in their names upon the revelation of the new name.

The journey to the throne

The journey to the throne began in May when the Crown Prince trekked from Benin to Uselu in Egor Local Government Area. He embarked on the journey after he completed the rites and rituals to get the title of Edaiken N’Uselu.

He performed the funeral rites of his father while he was at Uselu.

After completing the rites, Prince Erediauwa began the return trip to Benin, to ascend the throne of his ancestors.

Among the rites and rituals performed by Prince Erediauwa on his way to the throne are the symbolic climbing of a sacred palm tree, known as Udin Amamieson Amieuwa (Suffer before pleasure).

The other was the symbolic wrestling with the Chief Priest of Okhuaihe Shrine, Osarodion Usuanlele, the Ohen N’Ukoni Neyedo at Evbuekoi in Uhunwode Local Government Area.

Both men will never set eyes on each other again.

Prince Erediauwa has also visited some shrines in some villages. He will not enter those shrines again after his crowning today .

Some of them are at Urhonigbe, Ikhibi and Ughoton, among others.

The new king was 25 years old when the late Oba Erediauwa ascended the throne in 1979.

The main crowning event will take place in a private ceremony inside the Usama Palace by the Usama N’ Ihiron, also known as Edion, led by Chief Oliha.