FROM OSAIGBOVOMWAN IGUOBARO
The association of Great Benin Descendants (GBD) has discarded Saint Valentine’s Day Celebration in honour of the wife of Oba Ewuakpe, Queen Iden who sacrificed her life to shape Benin Kingdom 315 years ago.
Saint Valentine Day started in the United States of America occurs every February 14 and gifts are exchanged between loved ones.
In a bid to connect to history, the Coordinator-General, Association of Great Benin Descendants, Imasuen Izoduwa, on Friday February 14, 2020, led Nigerian youths to the thumb of Queen Iden beside the popular Oba market in Benin City.
He admitted that Queen Iden was Childless, but her story which had been passed from generation to generation without any sentimental attachment and social connection as a unifier who helped to restore a near disintegrated kingdom in which Ewuakpe inherited from his forebears.
Izoduwa who described Saint Valentine’s Day Celebration as a most damaging error of “white man’s indoctrination into the minds of African people with a view to erasing African ancestry.
He said: “She (Queen Iden) volunteered her life to be used as that sacrifice that brought Benin united together again.
“The white men have indoctrinated our minds too much by making us to celebrate people we do not even know whether they existed. They add no value to out culture or system as Africans.
“The only way we can erase that indoctrination from the minds of our people is to also choose a date the white men had choose to indoctrinate our mind. Instead of people to say happy Saint Valentine, every Edo man should say happy Iden who was the pride and embodiment of love, strength, courage and brevity in her quest to find a solution to her husband debacle.
“It is not about Edo people alone, we are also stressing that other African nationalities to take a queue from that.
“For instance, the Idah people had a legend of Princess Inikpi. She sacrificed her life during the war between them and the Benin people. There was a divination that the Benin peoples were going to win that war.
“So, the only way that the war will not be devastating to the people was the ultimate sacrifice which the Princes of that realm, “Princess Inikpi” paid. What that translates to is that if Edo people are Celebrating Iden, the Idah people should also Celebrate Princess Inikpi.
“If the Yoruba has Moremi and other Heroins, they should also Celebrate them. But, the thing is, we do in t want the Western indoctrination to continue in Benin kingdom and ditto, the entire Africa. l as a Continent”, he said.