Edo State Government has declared October 20 as public holiday in celebration of the coronation of the new Oba of Benin, Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa.

Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, the Secretary to the State Government, in a statement on Tuesday in Benin said the public holiday is in honour of Erediauwa, who will be crowned the 39th Oba of Benin.

According to the statement, the public holiday would ensure a hitch-free coronation and give Edo people the opportunity to partake in the historic installation of the new Oba of Benin.

Events leading to the coronation ceremony commenced on October 8.

The title of Oba in Benin Empire was created by Oba Eweka I, the Benin Empire’s first ‘Oba’, said to have ascended power between 1180 and 1300.

The Oba of Benin, then, was the Head of State (Emperor) of the Benin Empire until the British annexed the Empire in 1897.

The Crown Prince on Sunday left Evuekoi for Azama N’ Uhe ancestral shrine at Oloton’s Palace in Isekhere Street, Benin, to perform traditional rites.

He had engaged in a mock wrestling match, which symbolised ‘wrestling’ with the Chief Priest of Okhuaihe shrine, Osarodion Usuanlele, the Ohen N’ Ukoni Neyedo.

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