It has been booming business for barbers in Benin City, the Edo State capital, and indeed elsewhere for the past four days, as they have been experiencing increasing patronage.
Many men are going bald in honour of the late Benin monarch, Oba Erediauwa.Foremost human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, was one of the first persons to comply with the custom of men shaving their heads in honour of the late Oba. Ozekhome is also a palace chief.
Former attorney general of the state, Mr. Osagie Obayuwana, and former chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Philip Ugbodaga are among those among several others that have publicly gone bald.
As part of preparations for the forthcoming transition ceremonies for the Oba, the Benin Traditional Council (BTC) had called on all Benin people at home and abroad, including friends of the Kingdom, to as a mark of respect and love for the departed king, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’ Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, join the palace in observing all customs and tradition in honour of the demise of its king to the great beyond.
Speaking at a press briefing in Benin City, the Iyase
(Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, who led other top palace chiefs, said the transition of the Benin monarch to join his ancestors has been formally announced and urged all Binis at home and abroad to join the palace in its time of grief in mourning the departed king, with all royal rites tantamount to the funeral observed, which include, “that all male citizens of Benin Kingdom will as a rule be expected to clean shave the hair on their heads with effect from April 29, 2016 in obedience to Benin Tradition.”
Igbe added that all funeral rites are prohibited from the date of announcement of Emwinekhua (obsequies), which would be announced later by the Palace.
“All our friends and well-wishers, including all those who live with us and work for their livelihood within our kingdom, may wish to join us after the announcement.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian gathered yesterday that official activities in the palace and the kingdom have commenced.
“The native chalk has been broken, the ground has not consumed it. The Crown Prince needs to react to it and he has not reacted, so until he does that, the definite programmes will now commence,” a source said.