Activities marking the coronation of the 40th Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, continued in Benin on Saturday with a Durbar Festival organised in honour of the Oba by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar II.
Horse riders from Sokoto, Zamfara and Niger states entertained the large crowd, who gathered at the Oba Palace to watch the display that was described as the first kind in the South South zone of the country.
The Durbar started at about 4:15pm with the horse riders showcasing their mastery even as they waved their hands to accord respect to Oba Ewuare II.
Cultural troupes across the state were on ground to display their rich cultural heritage in honour of and felicitations to the Oba.
Guests from all walks of life were held spellbound as the various troupes took their turns to display their rich cultural heritage.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edibiri, said the event was the social aspect of the coronation ceremony that took place on Thursday.
He said the Durbar was an indication of the unity of the country and that Nigeria will survive the current economic hardship facing her as a nation.
The palace chief also said the presence of the traditional rulers from the North showed the unity of the various traditional rulers in the country.
Chairman of the organising committee, Prof. Gregory Akenzua, while expressing satisfaction on the coronation ceremony, he said they have met the expectations of the millions of Nigerians who have looked forward to the coronation of the new Oba of Benin.
He said the traditional rulers in the country will play a very big role in uniting Nigeria and that their presence in Benin, reflected the love Northerners have for the new Oba of Benin.
Speaking also at the occasion, Head of the Performing Arts Division, Delta State Council for Arts and Culture, Asaba, Delta State, Mrs. Patani Esiri, said the five major languages in the state where present in Benin to felicitate with the Oba.
“We are here to celebrate and also mark the coronation of the new Oba of Benin. We are here to represent Delta State and the different tribes in Delta, we have the Urhobors, Isoko, Ijaws, Itsekiris and the Ibos who are here to celebrate this special occasion.
“It is a state troupe and you know Delta State is made up of five tribes, we have the Urhobor, Isoko, Ijaw, Itsekiri and the Ibos. So, we are representing the five tribes. We are not representing a particular tribe. You know of course we are a replica of Nigeria and so we are here to showcase our culture,” she said.