His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, Oba of Benin on Saturday night inspired Royal fans who trooped out to partake in the blessings of Ugie Emobo rite in his palace, Benin City, Edo State.
Ugie Emobo, which was held at Oba palace gate where different rites were performed to ward off evil spirits from the Benin Kingdom, is part of activities to mark the 2022 Igue festival also known as Ugie.
The Oba who was in a red ceremonial robe engaged the dancing floor with his white ivory gong, which he struck and ward-off evil forces that might be hovering around any part of the Benin Kingdom.
This was after the Esogban of Benin, Chief David Edebiri who is also known as the Odionwere, had performed the necessary rites that drove away evil spirits from Benin to Udo and thereafter prayed for the Oba and left the scene without turning back.
After Esogban’s departure, Oba Ewuare II, with Chief Ihama and Chief Ohaza from Ihogbe and Iwebo Guilds, exhibited a grand cultural dexterity during the spiritual rejuvenation and fortification exercise, while Ogbelaka Royal drummers supplied the needed impetus and Rhythm for the dances.
In a rare display of Royalty and splendour, the Oba of Benin with his Ceremonial sword (Eben) and ancestral staff (Ukhurhe Edohia), proceeded to the Edion (Elders Porch), an adjacent area of his palace where he paid tribute to his ancestors and offered prayers.
As a crowd of cultural enthusiasts spectators flocked around to catch a glimpse and sang oration onto the Oba who had communicated with the Royal drums before he proceeded to Ugha Ozolua in his palace where he also paid tribute to God and his ancestors.
Ugie Emobo is also used to remember Prince Idubor, popularly known as Arhuanran, the giant Prince of Udo in Ovia South West Local Government Area of the State and Prince Osawe who later became Oba Esigie in a 1504 contest for the great Benin throne. Both of them were Children of Oba Ozolua who reigned in the Benin Kingdom at about 1481 AD.