Veteran journalist, pioneer Editor-in-Chief of the Nigerian Observer (founded May 29, 1968), and the Enogie of Obazuwa-Iko, Edun Agharese Akenzua, has passed on at the age of 87 years. The magazine gathered that Akenzua, a scion of the Benin royal family, a Fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, an author, and businessman, died about three weeks ago, but his demise was kept under wraps as tradition demands.
A source close to the Benin Traditional Council told the magazine that as a prince, and first-class duke, being a direct descendant of an Oba, his passage could not be announced publicly until the children had come to formally inform the palace. It was reliably gathered that this was done about two days ago, which was the reason Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki issued a statement on Wednesday commiserating with the immediate family, and the entire royal family of Benin Kingdom.
Mourning Akenzua’s passage in a personally signed condolence message, Obaseki described him as “A royalty per excellence, an inimitable blue-blood, filled with wisdom, wit and courage”. According to Governor Obaseki, the late Enogie “loomed large and lived a life dedicated to upholding truth, Benin values, and promoting communal integration.”
He noted that: “Enogie Akenzua lived an illustrious life as one of Nigeria’s brightest journalists, a walking library of sorts, who provided unparalleled insight on Benin history, providing incisive and convincing explanations on thorny issues that confounded many about the kingdom and the Nigerian nation.
“A fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), he was cerebral in his engagements, deploying his deep knowledge and wisdom in conversations about Nigeria’s past, present and future.”
The governor further noted that during Enogie Akenzua’s reign, Obazuwa dukedom recorded unprecedented growth and development as it attracted new investments while existing investors grew their assets owing to the duke’s open-mindedness and welcoming mien.
Obaseki said: “He was respected by his subjects, who sought wise counsel from him, even as he was involved in many noble causes, making immense contributions to the campaign for the return of stolen Benin artefacts.
“Enogie Akenzua would be remembered for his commitment to the truth, uncommon candor, love for his people and dedication to the restoration of the dignity of man.
“I commiserate with the Benin Royal family, the people of Obazuwa-Iko dukedom and associates of Enogie Akenzua, and pray that God will grant all the fortitude to bear the unfortunate loss.”