Monday, May 2, 2016
'THIS IS OUR CHANCE' - A NOVEL BY JAMES ENE HENSHAW, REVISITED?
"Oba Erediauwa, a majestic elemental spirit. You cannot gloss over the fact that Omo N’ Oba Erediauwa,Oba of Benin, was a man of impeccable and unimpeachable integrity with the resilience of a royal salamander. In him, you find a coruscating display of that apothegm which holds that noblesse oblige. The sui generis quintessential quality of his came under bold relief, especially during the locust and Philistine years of the military militocracy. He was practically the only triton among the minnows of royal hierarchs that resisted and stood up to the military rascality and apacheism that characterized the Abacha era. He stood at all times with the people eyeballing political and military demagogues and damning their treacherous hooey and blarneys.
It will not be erroneous and superfluous, therefore, to pontificate that his integrity was altruistically integrious if you permit me that neologism. A man steeped in tradition Omo N’ Oba Erediauwa, Oba of Benin was a cornucopious emblematization of the rich heritage of the Benin culture, both in his modus vivendi and modus operandi. He left no one in doubt that he was the spiritual and traditional agglutinating anodyne that offers a centripetal canopy for the Benin ethnic nationality into one harmonious and synchronized armada.
Of particular interest to me was how he was able to bring this about, especially against the backdrop of modernism and attenuating cum corrosive forces of religious petulancy and perfervidism. It is in his cosmopolitan and cerebral mien that is situated the Aladdin’s lamp that gave him the enablement in striking a delicate equipoise and hence at a meeting of the ‘Benin Anglican Dioscesan Synod on June 3, 1980, the revered monarch posited thus …. “The conflict between traditional religion and Christian religion is not supported by scriptural teaching, but must Christian religion condemn and push out the traditional? Must traditional worship and Christian worship not be seen as complimentary”? Such was his philosophical zest, intellectual cosmopolitanism, sangfroid predilection and well-honed skills in high-wired diplomacy, which placed him in good stead, especially at feisty moments.
Cerebral alertness and universal personality One of the qualities even a casual visitor that came before the royal presence of Omo N’Oba, Oba of Benin cannot fail to recognize was his lavish avuncular affection towards all his visitors. He was always ready to make you feel at home, irrespective of real or imagined social stratification. He was at his best crystallizing a rare display of Solomonic wisdom and regal mannerisms in regaling his numerous visitors with anecdotes interspersed with didactic witticisms and it was at such privileged moments you also had the opportunity to admire his intellectual alertness and global persona." – Hon Patrick Obahiagbon, eulogizing the departed Oba of Benin. Omo N'Oba N'Edo Ukwu Akpolokpolo Erediauwa 1.