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Published On: Wed, Jan 22nd, 2020

Tribute To Late Evwreni Monarch, Eruvwedede II 20 Years After Brutal Murder

HRM, Owin Kumane, Eruvwedede 11


By Young Erhiurhoro
LAGOS JANUARY 22ND (URHOBOTODAY)-How time flies? By January 20th, 2020, it would now be exactly twenty years since the royal passage of a royal legend, a gallant traditional ruler of a class and a visionary monarch of the Evwreni people, HRM, Owin Kumane, Eruvwedede 11 to the great beyond.
Though the monarch had joined his ancestors but from the circumstances surrounding his royal passage, it was not his wish for such untimely passage. Well, the deed has done. I don’t really want to reminisce about the brutality of those blood-drunk irate youths of that time. May his soul rest in total peace.
However, I want to use this short piece to exhume some of the fine legacies of this great traditional ruler in respect of his traditional leadership across his royal jurisdiction. No doubt, the man we are celebrating today, even after his death twenty years ago, was a man that could be described as a saviour, a peace maker and a bridge builder as a traditional ruler in the entire Evwreni kingdom. Though his traditional leadership was cut short as a result of internal crisis on January 20th, 2000, which was the day he breathed his last but he impacted positively on his people in terms of peaceful reign, human and capital development and government presence in the entire kingdom.
Without doubt, HRM, Owin Kumane was one of the clan heads in Evwreni kingdom that helped broker peace and established cordial relationship between the Evwreni people and Unenurhie people per se. From history, Unenurhie and Evwreni are founded by different forebears on separate and independent lands but tied together by a common ancestry.
This is truly indisputable, as it’s typically shown on our spoken dialect (Urhobo language) and also on many of our cultural practices like the celebration of the Ohworhu cultural festival. This is why the two separate and independent lands are grouped together as one clan or kingdom right from the time of the Colonial regime till today. As a kingdom, the people are under a traditional leadership of one clan head which is usually the Ovie.
Interestingly, the point I want to raise here about our departed monarch is that, the man was a peace maker and also a bridge builder between the Evwreni people and the Unenurhie people in terms of binding together the various traditional institutions across the kingdom. As a kingdom, there are different traditional institutions that oversee the traditional leadership and welfare of the people. For instance, after the Ovie as the highest traditional head of the kingdom and also the one fully recognized by the Delta state government as clan head; there are other two subordinate traditional heads that are designated by our traditional laws to assist the Ovie in the day to day traditional administration of the kingdom. They are the “Odion’Rode” and the “Odion’Esiri”. While the Odion’Rode who is next in command to the Ovie is perpetually stationed at Unenurhie community, whereas the Odion’Esiri who is third in the traditional leadership hierarchy is equally stationed at Evwreni.
In his time as the clan head, HRM, Owin Kumane was able to tie together the Odion’Rode traditional stool at Unenurhie community and that of the Ovie stool to create peace and sense of belonging to his Unenurhie subjects and the man who manned the stool at that time. He was His Highness, Umukoro Ikoba, the Odion’Rode of Evwreni kingdom. He had also joined his ancestors many years ago like his superior. They were living like father and son. With this, the traditional stool of the Odion’Rode was recognized and respected by his subjects both at Evwreni and Unenurhie. There were times when HRM, Owin Kumane would pay visits to the Odion’Rode because the latter was older than the Ovie in age. Such visits were always coloured with gifts and financial support from the Ovie. This therefore created peace and harmony between the two traditional heads at that time.
Therefore, as the Evwreni people are remembering the royal passage of our dear monarch who passed on twenty years ago, I want to passionately appeal to the incumbent who was the heir apparent to the late king, to as much as possible to toll the lines of his late father by trying to create a kind of recognition to the office of the Odion’Rode of Evwreni kingdom. In fact, I was ashamed the day I visited the Odion’Rode in his palace at Unenurhie community. The place was very tattered and I was never told that the man was angry before I knew it. It shows in his face and even in the faces of some of the elders and chiefs present that all was not well. I thank God that I didn’t visit in company of outsiders. If not, the shame would have been extra large for me to bear that very day.
What I’m saying in essence is that, the present Ovie of Evwreni kingdom, HRM, Oghenekevwe Kumane, Eruvwedede 111, should carry the Odion’Rode of Evwreni kingdom along in his traditional government and to also create recognition for him in terms of financial support and to also build a befitting permanent palace for that traditional stool. The said traditional stool of the Odion’Rode is not meant for Unenurhie people alone but for the entire Evwreni kingdom. I strongly believe that this is one of the fine lagacies that the late hero bequeathed to his heir apparent and now the present Ovie of Evwreni kingdom. Leadership can only thrive in the presence of peace. Live on our gallant royal father!

Young Erhiurhoro;Kjc is a reporter and a member of the Urhobo Historical Society.

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