Worried over the upsurge in cases of violent killings occasioned by armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, sacrilegious acts and the seeming inability of security agencies to stem the tide, the Benin Kingdom, at the weekend invoked age-long traditional practice to cleanse the land and appease the gods for any infractions that may be responsible for such acts.
How this pans out would be seen in the following weeks and months to come. Will the kidnapping stop? What about the banditry and Cultism? The EDO NATION ONLINE described Edo speaking people located in the Midwestern part of Nigeria as having strong beliefs in myths which is still in practice today which segun dawode explains as follows:
|Like the Egyptians, the Binis believe in many gods and life after death. Their religion grew up from many sources. Some gods and beliefs (or the guiding spirits) of every family were inherited from the first people who settled in Benin; Some were introduced by Obas, e.g. Ekoko, Awanuroho, etc, by Oba Ewuare, and Orumworia by Oba Ozolua; others were introduced by priests and religious thinkers, e.g. Osanughegbe by Okhionkpaimwonyi. The Binis also worship those phenomena they did not understand in nature e.g. too much rain, too much sun, thunder, the sky, etc. Altogether, they worship over 800 gods. These can be classified as follow: OSANOBUA or OSA – The Chief or Supreme God. The god of god. He is also referred to as Oriole, Udazi, Akpama, Okodudu, Oghodua and Ohovba. OLOKUN – The god Olokun is to the Binis as Athena is to the Greeks. It is the god of the sea – giver of good luck, riches and children. It is also called EZIZA. The Olokun worshipping is more for the women folk. It is worshipped throughout the year; but its annual festival is regular during which period, the priest/priestess and worshippers pray for peace and plenty for the society, and the women pray for children and money. Its worship is done with songs accompanied with drums (ema olokun), maracass (ukuse) and gongs (egogo), to summon the attention of the god. The Priest/Priestess or worshipper dances to inspiration point and starts visionizing and telling the future. OBIEMWEN – Mother of human beings. The goddess in charge of child delivery. OGIUWU – The god of death. He eats human flesh and human blood is the fluid he drinks. Ofoe is his chief messenger. ESU – Devil. The controller of coup d’etats. He is the god of hell. He is the director of art, power, cunning and all knowledge. He is more feared and better served than the good God who is harmless. Any misfortune is taken as his handwork. ISO – Sky. Holder of lights and water. SPIRITS OF THE DEPARTED (ERINMWIN N’OWA) This is the ancestral or lineage shrine. When a father or a mother dies in Benin, the children make an altar aro-erinmwin in his or her memory. It is here sacrifices are made. It is composed of Ukhure – Staves, Eroro – Bell, and objects. EBO (JUJU) These are also deities – in their special class. OGUN – god of iron and war. OSUN – god of medicine and charms (worshipped by professional doctors) OTO – Soil (Edion). The keeper of the peace of the land.|