Otue-Igueoba — traditional salutations to Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, CFR, Oba of Benin, has been held in grand style at the 2023 annual Igue festival also known as ‘Ugie’ in Oba Palace in Benin City where Ekoko N’ Uteh Royal Masquerades appeared and exhibited a grand cultural dexterity.
Oba Ewuare II, commingles in a rare move with masquerades, and gave kola nuts to Chiefs of various categories in order of seniority to the rungs of the ladder, as a mark of identity, recognition and honour for devotion of service, and interacted with the Masquerades bearing the ancestral staff — in a rare symbolic cultural display that stunned spectators.
Members of the Royal family, and heads of Palace Guilds and guests present at the famous festival, which began Centuries ago during Ogiso era, were not exempted in the presentation of gifts, which would enable the beneficiaries Celebrate Igue’ Edohia — December 25, 2023 — set aside for all Edo people to perform their individual worship in their homes.
The blessing of the kola nuts presentation and other items that were meant for the Otue-Igueoba by Oba Ewuare II, was preceded by special intercessory prayer to God and his ancestors on behalf of Edo State and Nigeria, ahead of the new Calendar year.
The 2023 Igue festival Ceremonies, which began the precious day with a worship by Oba Ewuare II at Ugierhoba — sacred altars dedicated to his ancestors, was witnessed by Queen mothers and members of the Royal family the Royal festival which began Centuries ago during Ogiso’s era.
Profusion of soul-stirring songs by palace traditional musicians, including ageless female Royal group as well as Royal drummers, supplied the needed impetus on the occasion where Royal guards — ensured spectators are prevented from either convoluting Benin Customs and tradition or riding roughshod on sacred ground during the spiritual rejuvenation exercise.