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Order of Precedence
Dear Cynthia, Benjamin, Pita and Victor:
The matter of seniority (diplomatic precedence) in Esanland is a nut that can only be cracked by going all the way back to the earliest days of the Ogiso - proto-edoid civilization - circa 601 AD. To do this I consulted late Chief Oronsaye’s book: History of Ancient Benin Kingdom and Empire (pp 31-33).
According to Oronsaye, the name of our capital then was Igodomigodo, later called Ile, later called Ile Ibinu, later called Ubini, later called Edo, now called Benin City.
Upon arrival from the Sudan the earliest districts of Igodomigodo were:
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The Theban Priest of Amon (Ogiogbon) who was responsible for installing Princes and Dukes in outlying territories for the Ogiso Igodo installed them in a manner consistent with their birth rankings. Note that the Ogiso Igodo had several wives the most senior of which were Esagho and Ogikebe. This is the diplomatic order (after Igodomigodo itself):
1. Ovie of Ughelle (Ughelli) - eldest son of Ogiso Igodo by Esagho. He had many sons one of whom (Ere) became the second Ogiso in Igodomigodo after Ogiso Igodo.
2. Onojie of Evboikhimwin (Ewohimi) - second son of Ogiso by Ogikebe. His sons (Igodo’s grandsons) were subsequently made Enogies over Evbosa, Evbato, Ekpon, Ebele, Amahor, Igueben etc.... (Esan I)
3. Onojie of Oruwa (Irrua) - third son of Ogiso by Esagho. His sons established Irhue, Ekponmwan (Ekpoma), Ewu, Uromi, Ugboha, Ubiaza (Ubiaja), Okhodua, Oria etc... (Esan II)
4. Obi of Uburuku (Ubulu-Uku) - 4th son of Ogiso (second son of Ogikebe)
5. Enogie of Isi in Eguae Ogisi near the Ekpoza - 5th son of Ogiso produced by his third wife. The sons of the 1st Enogie of Isi settled in Okemuen, Oghada, Okhuokhuo, Isievbee, Ighomo, Ike, Urhonigbe, Ugo, Ebue etc...
6. Enogie of Udo - 6th son of Igodo and first son of his 4th wife. His sons established themselves around Oduna, Isiuwa, Uhiere, Ugbogui, Usen, Egbeta, Okada and Uhen.
7. Enogie of Uhobe (Sobe) - 7th son of Igodo from his 5th wife. His sons established themselves around Ogbesse, Ihan, Okha etc...
8. Oba of Agbede in Kukuruku - 8th son of Ogiso Igodo. His sons established themselves around Auchi, Jagbe, Weppa, Lampese, Okpe, Oke, Obilo, Uneme, Uzairue etc...
NUMEROUS OTHER WAVES OF MIGRATION (FOR DIFFERENT REASONS) TOOK PLACE SUBSEQUENTLY, BUT THIS WAS THE FIRST OGISO INSTALLED ADMINISTRATION.
Thus, Benjamin has ancient historical ammunition to support his claim that Ewohimi is the most senior Dukedom in Esanland. Evbato (Ewatto) is technically junior to Ewohimi (using this criterion) since Ewatto’s first Duke was the son of the Duke of Ewohimi. I hope Pita (ex-Sage of Ewatto), Cynthia (of Uromi) and Lawani (of Igueben) will forgive me for this - not to mention Idahosa, who I am sure will understand. By the way Hilary, Ewohimi is senior to Isi (including Okhuokhuo), so pay your respects to Benjamin when next you see him - by letting him break kolanut in your presence.
You all can also see how our traditional institutions are related going back centuries. I hope more research can be done into the Ogiso era - as well as the history of individual villages and common people in Edoland.