Oba of Benin – Everything You Should Know

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The Edo people and all Edoid people consider the Oba of Benin as their traditional ruler and custodian of their culture. The Edo population primarily inhabits the Kingdom of Benin (different from the modern-day Republic of Benin, formerly known as Dahomey).

   An Oba of Benin from the late 17th century

Oba of BeninOvonramwen, Oba of Benin from 1888- January 1898
Oba of Benin

An Oba on horseback with attendants from 16th century

Sir Harry Rawson commanded a British military force of approximately 1,200 men that mounted the Benin punitive Expedition in 1897. A group of Benin soldiers, acting without orders from the King, ambushing a British party at Ugbine village near Gwato on January 4, 1897. The ambush resulted in the deaths of all but two of the British party.

On Sun Sep 17 2023, the British force seized the capital of the Kingdom of Benin and proceeded to sack and burn the city. They also forced the Oba of Benin, Ovonramwen, into a six-month exile. The expeditionary force consisted of indigenous soldiers and British officers stationed in colonial-era Nigeria. They sold off a collection of artworks, known as the Benin Bronzes, which were looted from the city palace to cover the expenses of the expedition. Ovonramwen passed away in 1914 without his throne being returned to him. However, his title and status as a traditional ruler have been maintained by his son, grandson, and great-grandson in modern-day Nigeria.


list of Oba of Benin

  • Uwuakhuahen (1246–1250)
  • Henmihen (1250–1260)
  • Ewedo (1260–1274)
  • Oguola (1274–1287)
  • Edoni (1287–1292)
  • Akang (1292–1296)
  • Udagbedo (1296–1329)
  • Ohen (1329–1366)
  • Egbeka (1366–1397)
  • Orobiru (1397–1434)
  • Uwaifiokun (1434–1440)
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Edo state has a Tropical wet and dry or savanna climate with yearly temperature of 28.78°C (83.8°F) and it is -0.68% lower than Nigeria’s averages. Edo typically receives about 183.49 millimeters (7.22 inches) of precipitation and has 265.91 rainy days (72.85% of the time) annually and at an elevation of 239.16 meters (784.65 feet) above sea level.


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