Benin Kingdom is truly a great one! The kingdom which is believed to be over 2000 years old is known to be one of the most powerful and richest in the history of Nigeria and Africa in general. The great kingdom of Benin has been described as the primary birth of Nigeria’s development, with great reasons too.
Benin was a pre-colonial kingdom in what is now southern Nigeria. Its capital was Edo, now known as Benin City in Edo state. Benin which is often confused with the modern-day Republic of Benin, is one of the oldest and most highly developed areas in Nigeria.
Here are some interesting facts about the ancient kingdom that proves how much of a great kingdom it really is:
1) The Oldest Church in West-Africa
It was established in Great Benin Empire by the Earliest Portuguese missionaries in the 16th Century which is today known as the Holy Aruosa (Benin National Church). Pope Pius XII visited Benin and handed the church to the Oba of Benin, Oba Oreoghene in 1692AD.
The church, Holy Aruosa which means ‘Eye of God’ is a traditional worship house of the Binis where the people are said to have direct contact with God without going through any intermediary.
2) Oba Orhogbua founded Lagos and planted a dukedom, the Obaship of Lagos.
His reign was marked with the expansion of the Empire westwards. He founded Eko and Badagry and established the monarchical rule in those places and placed his own representatives to rule them. He established the first Oba of Lagos.