Benin Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa on Tuesday chose his coronation name after defeating Edigin N’Use in the traditional Akhue game of marble seeds. Erediauwa, will however, officially announce the name during his coronation on Thursday at Urho-Okpota in Benin. The crown prince entered the shrine at the Edigin’s Palace, after playing the game of Akhue with HRH Kelvin Ekpe Edigin, the Edigin N’ Use and thereafter chose his coronation name.
Abieyuwa Edigin, a highly placed family member in the Edigin Palace told NAN that the Akhue game was the climax of all the coronation ceremonies. He said the Akhue game was cultural and traditional requirements that must be fufilled by the crown prince before he could be crowned as Oba. Abieyuwa explained that the transited Oba also played the Akhue game with Kelvin’s father, Robert Edigin, before choosing the name “Erediauwa’’( I have come to strengthen and prosper my people) .
He said the tradition started in 1200 AD during the period of Oba Eweka, whose maternal grand-father, Ogie-Egor, lived in the next door village of Egor, in the present Egor Local Government Area of Edo. According to him, when Prince Oromiyan left Benin, he left his pregnant wife in the care of her father the Ogie (Duke) of Egor. He said Oromiyan’s wife delivered a male child who was dumb from birth and was sent to the maternal grand-father at ‘Use’ for treatment.
“But as the child could still not talk after, words were sent to his father at Uhe, who then sent seven magical Akhue with which the dumb prince participated in the popular village game known as Akhue.
“And with only one seed remaining on the ground after every other player had failed to strike it, the young prince used the magical Akhue from his father and struck the last seed.
“In his excitement, he spoke for the first time and exclaimed the word `Owomika’ (my hand has struck it) later corrupted to Eweka,’’ he said