By Eric Elezuo
Most men are born with the proverbial silver spoon. Most men achieve greatness while some have greatness thrust at them.
For a man like the 39th Oba of the Ancient Benin Kingdom, he was born with the silver spoon, had greatness thrust upon him and slowly but steadily achieved greatness beyond the imagination of most people through dint of hard work, perseverance and humility.
Born Eheneden Eradiauwa in 1953 to the man who became the 38th Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa I, formerly known as Prince Solomon Akenzua, the people’s monarch was privileged to see his father ascend the throne of his fathers when he was 26 years in 1979. This was three years after his mother, a woman he adored greatly died.
In his inaugural speech at his coronation, he exposed how much of a good son he had been to his parents, his mother more especially.
“Let me crave your indulgence to also make few remarks about my late mother, Princess Eghiunwe Akenzua of blessed memory, who passed on to the great beyond in 1976 when my father was still the Crown Prince. It was my dear mother who taught me to work hard for success in everything I set my mind upon to achieve. Circumstances and act of faith did not allow her to enjoy the status of a Queen in her life time. But she was a Princess in her own right. By my coronation, today, she is now entitled to be bestowed with the title of Iye Oba (Queen Mother). Which customs allow us to confer posthumously. This will be consummated at the appropriate time. “
Oba Eheneden Erediauwa, Ewuare N’ Ogidigan II, also Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolopkolo, Oba Ewuare II as he came to be known on October 20, 2016 when he finally inherited the crown of his forebears, had lived life like the normal child growing up in his native Benin Kingdom.
Unlike most children born with the silver spoon, the ebullient oba paid adequate attention and brought his head down, going through school with the humility of a person who knew what lays ahead for him. As a result, during the period 1965-1967, he attended Edo College, Benin City. Again from 1968-1970, he was in Immaculate Conception College (ICC), Benin City, from where in 1971-1972, he left for South Thames College, South West London, England, for his General Certificate of Education, advanced level. All through his classroom days, he was always representing himself among the top climbers.
In his determination to build up the necessary intellectual robustness relevant to the machinery and process of service to humanity, he proceeded to the University College, University of Wales, Cardiff, where he obtained the Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics. Between September 1979 and June 1981, the Oba attended the prestigious Rutgers University Graduate School of Public Administration, Newark, New Jersey, USA, where he obtained Masters in Public Administration, MPA.
Oba Ewuare has had a lot of post graduate training in International Administration, including one year each of Graduate Internship at the United Nations, UN Headquarters, New York; and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
At the Diplomatic Level, the privileged Oba has, during the period 1997-2012, under Military and Civilian Administrations, been appointed Nigerian Ambassador three times as follows: (i) Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden, with concurrent accreditation to the Kingdoms of Norway and Denmark and the Republic of Finland; (ii) Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Angola; and (iii) Nigerian Ambassador to Rome, Italy, with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Albania.
Before his Diplomatic Postings, he served meritoriously on the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and on the Boards of many other companies.
While performing his diplomatic duties, he was recalled to come and perform his princely duties, in preparation for his kingship duties.
A wonderful family man, Oba Ewuare II is married to three wives whom he loves and treats equally as they are all inducted into royal pedigree. They are Princess Iroghama, (Obazuaye N’Erie), Princess Iyayiota, (Obazuwa N’Erie) Princess Ikpakpa (Ohe N’Erie). He is also blessed with many children who are calling shots in their variously chosen endeavours.
He had promised to bring about more development to the Benin Kingdom, and it is believed that he is fit to deliver based on precedence, just as the Governor of Edo State said of him “We are fortunate to have Oba Ewuare II”.
At 63 years, Oba Ewuare is a force to reckon with and roundly qualified to be our Boss of the Week. Congrats sir!