The Oba of Benin Kingdom, His Majesty Omonoba Okpolopolo, has revealed why the Benin Kingdom Expeditionary Forces could not conquer and took Abeokuta, when the Kingdom’s Crack forces were taking inner and Atlantic coastal cities at the height of the Benin Empire’s Glory.
The Oba of Benin gave the revelation at the Ake Palace, Abeokuta, while responding to Alake’s welcome address to Egbaland on Wednesday, 23 February, 2022.
The Benin Kingdom Apex Monarch confirmed that Benin Soldiers, which had been conquering places including Lagos, had to beat a retreat in their attempt to storm Abeokuta because of the “Okuta” (Rocky) physical terrain of the land and tough resistance of the hard fighting Egba Army.
He disclosed to his royal Host, the Alake that, this historical fact and other mutual relationships, had been firing his insistent wish to visit Abeokuta since his father was on the throne of the Benin Kingdom.
Omonoba Okpolopolo said that the opportunity suddenly came when President Muhammadu Buhari, asked the Nigeria’s High Commissioner to me United Kingdom, His Excellency, and an Egba High Chief, Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Ishola, to personally collect the Benin Artifacts taken away by the British from the then Sovereign State of Benin, in those years, and redelivered to him, in Benin adding that, this rekindled his undying interest in visiting the historical city of Abeokuta
He was pleasantly that President Buhari directed Ambassador Tunji Ishola to personally collect the Artifacts and deliver them to Oba of Benin, adding that the people of the Benin Kingdom shall ever remain grateful to Present Muhammado Buhari for the gesture.
The deal for visiting Abeokuta was made after Ambassador Tunji Ishola facilitated telephone conversation between the Egba Apex Monarch and himself.
The Oba of Benin profusely thanked the Alake for the big gathering for what he described as, “the biggest reception he ever had from Monarch outside the Benin Kingdom.”
He explained further that he never thought that visiting Abeokuta could be fast tracked like this, even before and immediately after his coronation.
He told the Alake that, Ambassador Tunji Ishola, was a thorough bred Egba High Chief who cherished and spread the proud cultural heritage of Egbaland, any time and anywhere.
On the stolen Artifacts, return was informed by the students protesting the situation and they decided to return them.
He however appealed to the British to return more, if not all of the stolen Artifacts.
According to him, these were not ordinary artifacts, but they were created by technology which the British were still researching how they were done.
He said that Ambassador Tunji Ishola Ishola had spoken for the President, saying that the Artifacts were taken from a former sovereign and should be returned there.
Egba high Monarchs at the occasion, included Osile Oke-Ona; Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, Agura of Gbagura; Oba Saburee Bakre
Egba Monarchs present at the included; Olu Owode, Onijaye of Ijaye Titun, Onijale of Ijale-Papa, Olu Akinale, and many other Egba Monarchs
Egba Chiefs who were in attendance included; Egba Chiefs present were, Balogun of Egbaland; Chief Sikirullahi Atobatele, Osi of Egbaland; Chief Bode Mustapha, Lisa of Egbaland; Chief Oluyomi Olaogun, Baagbimo of Egbaland; Chief Akanni Akinwale, Akogun of Egbaland; Abraham Shoyoye, Bobaguwa of Egbaland; Chief Toye Okanlawon, Bantun of Egbaland; Chief Kehinde Sofenwa, Baamofin of Egbaland; Chief Sunday Odutan, Onimo-Ero of Egbaland; Chief Tokunbo Odebunmi, Baaroyin of Egbaland; Chief Layi Labode, and other Egba Chiefs