His Royal Majesty Omo N’ Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II of Benin Kingdom has come up to clarify the fact that they [in the traditional institution], who are adherent of the African Traditional religion (ATR) are by no means ‘Devil worshippers’ as many will label them, so as not to partake in their traditional ceremonies when invited.
Oba Ewuare II, made this clarification when the metropolitan Archbishop of Benin City, His Grace, Most Rev. Archbishop DR. Augustine O. Akubueze paid him a courtesy visit at the palace recently. He said in the Traditional Religion, that all relevance also goes to God. The Monarch noted that during his previous visits to the Vatican , he had the opportunity of meeting the former Pope and the high rankings Priests that led to his knowledge that the ATR is being accepted at the Vatican. He was of the view that if the ATR is being recognized at the Vatican [which is the seat of the supreme Pontiff], therefore, it ought not to be discriminated against, adding that as far the Traditional rulers do attend christain functions when invited, stressing that those of the christendom should also honor invitation from traditional institutions. He further called for the Education of Christians in general to be wary of the proliferation of false prophets who gave a wrong interpretation of the things of God.
Oba Ewuare had expressed delight over the visit of the Archbishop and his kind remarks. He disclosed that ‘before I went to Immaculate Conception College [ICC], I attended Edo College’ adding that ‘we used to go from Edo College to Holy cross Cathedral for masses. I was always attracted to the catholic church, pointing out that it was the inspiration gotten from the masses he attends at Holy cross Cathedral as a student during the civil war period that led to his enlisting into ICC.
Oba Ewuare thanked Archbishop Akubueze for supporting the call for the use of Edo language, he however called on the Archbushop to do his own bit by making sure Edo is a subject in the curricular of catholic missionary schools across the state, including Edo North, Central and Across the Nation so as to know more about the language and culture, especially the latter that promotes African culture the world over.
Oba Ewuare later called on the catholic institution to set up mini industry so as to create room for more employments in the society.
Earlier in his address, the Archbishop, expressed with high esteem the privilege to witness the coronation of the Oba, adding that the ceremony afforded the kingdom to showcase her rich cultural heritage, which ‘we are all proud to promote, just as your coronation brought many together, may your reign also bring people together’, the prelate prayed. “We have no doubt in our minds that your reign will bring about peace and development in the land’, Archbishop Akubueze said, expressing gratitude for the landed properties donated to the church in the past by the traditional institution.
His grace further promised that the Catholic Church in Benin will continue to work with his Royal Majesty for the promotion of Edo language. He added that the Catholic Church will further encourage the teaching of Catechism in Edo language which has taken off in the major seminary.
The Archbishop also disclosed his scholarship scheme for those with the intention of going into the seminary for priestly training.
Highlights of the courtesy call was a special Royal prayers bestowed on the Oba by the Archbishop of Benin City.