Edo State is mourning the death of one of its illustrious sons and a prominent and flamboyant Benin traditional chief, Eduwu Ekhator Obasogie, the Obasogie of Benin Kingdom. The Obasogie, a septuagenarian, reportedly slumped Sunday night at his residence and did not recover.
He had always played a prominent role in palace activities as one of the senior chiefs. The Obasogie also served as chairman of Peace and Conflict Reconciliation, Edo State.
One of the sensitive assignments he handled on behalf of Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolopolo, Oba Ewuare 11, Ogidigan, was on January 25, 2017 when he led some other palace chiefs to the ancestral palace of the then Isekhure of Benin Kingdom, Nosakhare Isekhure to secure the traditional shrine there following his suspension and eventual banishment.
The Obasogie had explained at the time that the action was “part of the process of ostracizing him,” noting that the safety of some vital and important artifacts in the palace, “now in the wrong hands,” was worrisome to the Oba. The Benin Traditional Council, BTC, led by the Iyase of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe, had suspended Isekhure indefinitely, accusing him of violating several palace rules as a chief of the Oba.
And in April this year, the late Obasogie had represented Oba Ewuare 11 when monarch’s Foundation distributed COVID-19 palliatives to different groups and villages in Benin kingdom as part of efforts to cushion the effects of the lockdown. The first beneficiaries of the foodstuff and personal protective equipment, (PPE) donated were members of the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Making the presentation, the eloquent and articulate Obasogie said , “the Oba directed that NUJ should be the first port of call in the distribution of palliatives. This is because the fourth estate of the realm cannot be undermined. The challenge is everywhere, not here alone; it is world-wide”.
Mourning the death of the Obasogie of Benin, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, described it as a painful loss.
In a statement on Monday, Obaseki said “I received the news of the death of the Obasogie of Benin, Chief Eduwu Ekhator with a heavy heart. Chief Ekhator was a noble man with a good heart. He was amiable and peaceful and will be remembered for his good works which mark him out as a great asset of the Benin Kingdom.”
Further extolling his virtues the governor said “He was a good man. As a peace-loving person, he sued for peace and prevented conflict among persons and communities. He was renowned for supporting charitable and humanitarian causes and committing himself to the service of others. He will be remembered for this and many more good deeds.”
Obaseki regretted that the Obasogie died when his wise counsel would be required in fostering peace and prosperity in the state, noting that he would be greatly missed.
“I commiserate with the Royal Palace, family, friends and acquaintances of Chief Ekhator and pray that they have the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” the governor stated.