Centuries after the death of Queen Idia Ne Iye Esigie, she is still considered one of the greatest women in Africa who was not born of royal blood but Africa first female Army General.
Like most young girls of that era, Idia Ne Iye Esigie was prepared in her teenage years for marriage. She grew up to be beautiful, strong willed and deeply spiritual.
What brought her to the palace though, was not just her beauty but her awesome dancing skills. Idia was the best dancer in the kingdom.
Born in Ugieghudu Quarters of Benin Kingdom, Idia went for a dance at the capital, Benin city and that was where Oba Ozolua noticed the pretty damsel who danced like no other. The Oba could not take his eyes off her.
As it still stands, the subjects go far and above to give the Oba his heart’s desire. it was with pride that Idia’s parents gave the king their daughter, when he asked to marry her.
Getting married to the Oba was the quickest and easiest route to political power not just for Idia, but for her parents and Ugieghudu quarters at large. So, logically, it was a win-win situation.
Her parents realized that destiny had brought their daughter good luck but it was their duty to lay hold and seize this miraculous opportunity to become powerful, rich, famous and influential.
Legend has it that they took their beloved daughter, Idia through many fortifications and spiritual preparations – which is generally referred to as “cooking” in order to prepare her for life in the Palace.
The palace was not a place for weaklings, the fearful or the faint-hearted. If their daughter was going to be successful, then, she had to be ready physically, mentally but most importantly, spiritually.
Her husband, Oba Ozolua was a man of war and consequently went to wars on a regular basis.
When Idia got pregnant for her first son, Oba Ozolua already had a son, while his other Oloi, Ohonmi was heavy with child. It was plain to see that Idia’s child was billed to be the third son.
As this sounds, there was almost no Queen-Mother future for her.
All she was destined to be was an a Oloi and nothing more.
But, she couldn’t accept that fact. Idia was prepared for greatness way before she married the king. This seemingly unattainable dream, set in motion a dramatic turn of mysterious events, as old as the ancient Benin kingdom itself.
History has it that she commanded great influence in the palace of Oba Ozolua. She knew all the major players and her knowledge of politics, administration, medicine and spiritual warfare, made her a vital asset.
In all of her importance, her fiery ambition was how her son, who was third in line to the throne, could become king.
Here’s how she allegedly succeeded in kicking her son’s opponents to the curb.
Queen Idia gave birth to her first son Osawe (Oba Esigie) on the same day her fellow Oloi, Queen Ohonmi gave birth to her own first son, Idubor Aruanran. The difference was that Ohonmi gave birth hours before Idia.
Oral history states that after his birth, Idubor Aruanran mysteriously failed to cry at birth. However, a few hours later, Queen Idia also put to bed and her baby, Osawe (Esigie), cried and cried…
The baby (Osawe) was therefore the first to be announced as the second son to their father, Oba Ozolua.
When Idubor finally cried much later, it was a little too late as Oba Ozolua, had already performed the traditional ceremony of announcing Osawe as his official second son.
Palace watchers and rumour mongers accused Queen Idia of masterminding the whole scenario, due to her knowledge of magic and mysticism. They claimed she spiritually shut baby Aruanran’s mouth and brought her delivery date forward with her supernatural powers, all in a bid to get her son closer the highly revered throne.
How did Osawe (Oba Esigie) who was the third son manage to become Oba?
Once, could be a mistake, twice a coincidence but the third occurrence, made the pattern obvious.
Years prior to Idia’s son becoming king, the actual first son of Oba Ozulua, Ogidogbo was declared unfit to be Oba after he fractured his leg and became crippled, following a wrestling bout with his two younger brothers, Osawe and Aruanran. Of course we know who automatically becomes heir to the throne; Prince Osawe (Esigie), Queen Idia’s son.
It was again claimed that Queen Idia had a hand in Ogidogbo’s accident, but ultimately, nothing was proven.
Many swore she orchestrated the brilliant master plan to make her son the Oba and she succeeded.
After the death of her husband, Oba Ozolua in 1504, her son Osawe (Oba Esigie) was crowned the new Oba.
This resulted in a civil war between Esigie and his giant brother, Aruanran. The two brothers battled for the throne of their father.
At this time, Aruanran was the Enogie (Ruler) of Udo, a town of great importance and his brother Osawe (Oba Esigie) was in control of Benin.
The war was long and it took three campaigns to defeat Idubor Aruanran.
Aruanran had tried to make Udo the capital of the Benin kingdom as he refused to be a subordinate to his younger brother, Osawe.
Aruanran was a huge man and a warrior who strongly opposed to his brother, Esigie, who was sent to a Portuguese missionary school by their father and had never fought in any war; unlike Aruanran who fought alongside his late father.
To defeat his giant brother, Oba Esigie had to trust and rely physically and spiritually on his gallant mother (Queen Idia).
Therefore, she led his army on some war expeditions.
It is also said that her son, Oba Esigie did not make any major decision without consulting her even after he became king.
Aruanran’s assassination attempts could have succeeded were it not for Idia who was reputedly skilled in magical arts and whom he knew was a formidable opponent he had to overcome.
Realising he had to acquire supernatural powers if he wanted to take on Idia who was her son’s spiritual protector, oral tradition recounts that Aruanran retreated to Uroho village to learn the art of black magic from an old sorceress, Iyenuroho.
That he chose a woman as teacher is clear recognition that his actual opponent (Idia) was a woman and that he had to learn the ways of women’s mystical powers to be assured of victory.
In spite of his fortification, Aruanran, the Enogie of Udo committed suicide by drowning at the Udo Lake after his defeat. He did not want to be captured prisoner and taken back to Benin.
Before jumping into the lake, he left his ´Ivie necklace,´ the precious beaded symbol of authority in Benin land, dangling from a tree branch where it could easily have been found. Only the Oba could inherit such trophies of dead or conquered leaders and nobles.
Out of excitement over his victory, Oba Esigie tied on the neck for size, his brother´s humble surrender necklace symbol. Immediately he placed the jewelry around his neck, Queen Idia’s son, the great Oba Esigie became mentally disoriented!
Removing the necklace from his neck made no difference. He was rushed back to Benin in that hopeless state.
In search of a cure for her son, Idia located a Yoruba mystic at Ugbo in Ilaje, in the riverine area of the west and brought him to Benin to work on the king´s spiritual ailment.
The spiritual consultant cured the Oba of his ailment and the Queen after rewarding him generously, prevailed on him (the Yoruba Awo) to settle permanently in Benin, in order to continue rendering his services to her son.
The mystic accepted the offer and set up home at Ogbelaka quarters where his descendants have thrived until this day.
With Aruanran`s death and her son cured of his mental ailment, Idia put her talents into the administration and protection of his son`s kingdom.
She became a noted administrator and a great Amazon and an influence on her son.
Queen Idia also supervised the famous Idah war with the Igalas.
She ensured that her son’s side won that war.
Recognizing her role, Oba Esigie introduced a special post in the administration for his mother called IYOBA – The Queen Mother
She was personally involved in many of the wars by the Oba and even led some of those battles herself.
Oba Esigie’s lack of war experience was probably the reason Queen Idia led his armies to war. But irrespective of the reason, it was no mean feat.
Queen Idia was a strategist, a political guru and a loving mother.
She had managed to make her son king, ensured he defeated his brother, Aruanran during the civil war and she even fought his wars.
Oba Esigie recognised how effectively efficient she was and instead of killing her as tradition demanded, he created a special office for her in his administration called IYOBA (Queen Mother) and gave her a private quarters in Uselu with her own staff.
After her death, Oba Esigie commissioned bronze artists to make a special portrait of his mother.
Copies of Queen Idia’s famous portrait still stare men in the face in museums the world over.
Till date, on certain ceremonies in the Benin Kingdom, the Oba still wears pendants of the Queen Mother as a symbol of protection.
FACTS ABOUT QUEEN IDIA
– First woman to have stopped the killing of the Oba’s mother on his ascension to the throne.
– The first woman to fight and win wars in defense of a kingdom.
– The first official Queen-Mother of Benin kingdom.
Today, Queen Idia’s visage has gained global recognition, as her face which served as the symbol of FESTAC ’77, still beautifies museums, textile fabrics, jewelry, souvenirs, and other art motifs across the continent and beyond!
Idia, Ne Iye Esigie Lives On…
Proven Signs to Know Your Period is Coming
There are proven signs to know when your period is coming.
This post is mainly for girls especially the younger one’s,That just experienced Menstruation newly
I’m dropping a lot of signs that can Notify you,when your period is around the corner.
According to Oxford dictionary ” period is a flow of blood and other material from the lining of the uterus, occurring in non-pregnant women at intervals of about 28 days between puberty and the menopause and typically lasting for a few days (usually varies from 7, 5, 4 and 2 days respectively).
Here are proven signs to know that your period is coming.
1. You’re Breaking Out.
Acne is a common problem at this time of the month. Adult women get acne much more than men do, and it’s all because of hormones. Period-related breakouts are called cyclical acne. Rising hormone levels kickstart oil (called sebum) production, which clogs pores and causes pimples as your period is about to start. Before or during your period, you may notice breakouts on your chin and jawline area.
2. Your Bre*sts Are Sore Or Heavy.
Breast pain linked to periods is called cyclical breast pain. Your breasts may feel tender or swollen right after ovulation until a few days after period bleeding starts. Changes in the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin, the breastfeeding hormone, may play a role.
3. You’re Tired But You Can’t Sleep.
Fatigue is a vicious cycle for many women at this point in their cycle. Shifting hormones disturb your sleep patterns and make you feel tired. Changes in estrogen and progesterone may also increase core body temperature, especially when sleeping. You’re more likely to get good sleep when your core body temperature decreases.
4. You Have Cramps.
Cramps in your lower belly are the most frequent menstrual complaint. Cramps that occur before or during your period are called primary dysmenorrhoea. Unlike many other symptoms, which begin 1-2 weeks before your period and end when bleeding starts, cramps usually show up right before your period and last for 2-3 days.
5. You’re Constipated Or Have Diarrhea.
When your period is coming, digestive symptoms tend to fall to the extremes. Some women get constipated. Others have diarrhea.
6. You’re Bloated And Gassy.
Water retention is another major complaint. It’s also hormonal, but you can curb premenstrual bloat by cutting out salt, eating more fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly.
7. You Have A Headache.
Changes in estrogen levels are to blame if you get headaches before your period. If you’re prone to migraines, you’ll probably find that you get them before your period.
8. You’re Having Mood Swings.
The shift in hormones that cause physical period signs can also affect your emotions. You may have crying spells or feel angry and irritable.
9. You’re Anxious And Depressed.
Depression and anxiety are commonly linked to PMS. About half the women who seek help for period signs have some type of depression or anxiety disorder. A history of either condition could make your premenstrual symptoms worse.
10. Your Lower Back Hurts.
Period cramps don’t just affect the belly. Changes in natural chemicals called prostaglandins that line the uterus cause contractions that you could also feel in your back or thighs.
National Sport Festival or National Spend Festival?
If Edo state government couldn’t fathom how to make profit from the National Sports Festival, it means the planners are bereft of adequate ideas.
It is most disheartening to see Edo state government threatening to end the festival abruptly because the federal government didn’t meet up their promise.
Sports and sporting activities are money spinning ventures. Such a sporting festival should put some billions of naira into Edo state government coffers if the planners truly understands the opportunities inherent in such a huge project that brought the whole of Nigeria into Edo state. There are countries that, the major source of their revenue is sporting activities.
Frankly speaking, the sports festival appears to be without direction, improper planning and lack of preparedness to say the least. One could only see few sponsors on the miniature billboards along some major streets in Benin City.
Not many Edo people are aware of the National Sports Festival taking place in the state save those in Ekehuan road axis primarily due to the traffic congestion occasioned by the road blockades around the stadium causing untold hardship for motorists.
A national event of such magnitude should attract tourism, sponsors, business opportunities and revenue generation for the state government to help improve in the welfare of the people. If these and more as mentioned above couldn’t be achieved, it means the National Sports Festival didn’t add any value to us as a state but to take the little we have in our coffers.
I wish the money expended in the sports festival was channeled towards the construction work on Ekehuan road or used to fix Uwelu, Evbuotubu or Airport road extension. Edo people would have been much grateful and appreciate and feel the impacts of good governance.
Leftist Osazee Edigin AICMC
Coordinator, Action for Socio-political and Economic Change (ASEC)
The Real Story of Ishola Oyenusi – Nigeria Deadliest Armed Robber
Here is the real story of Ishola Oyenusi, popularly known as Doctor Oyenusi, who until his death was Nigeria deadliest armed robber who terrorized the people of Lagos and other neighbouring cities in the 1970s. Ishola Oyenusi and his gang of six were highly skilled in snatching cars, robbing banks, factories, stores and killing people like chickens.
Was Ishola Oyenusi Really A Medical Doctor?
Dr Oyenusi, as he was called, was not a doctor by profession but adopted the title for the fun of it. The evidence lies in a confession he made few minutes before his execution.
He confessed that his parents were not capable of furthering his secondary school education and that was what forced him into robbery. So without having a secondary school education, Oyenusi by no way could have been a medical doctor.
Oyenusi’s Robbery Exploits
Oyenusi started off his robbery career by snatching a car (whose owner died in the process) just because his (Oyenusi) girlfriend needed some money. It was claimed by some sources that Oyenusi was romantic.
He sold the car at the price of N400 and gave the money to his girlfriend. It was also said that Oyenusi was hot-tempered and quite arrogant. During his arrest, he thundered down on a police officer who was ushering him around. He said, “people like you don’t talk to me like that when I’m armed, I gun them down!”
Doctor Ishola Oyenusi came into the limelight after the Nigerian civil war ended in 1970. He robbed banks and people in both daylight and night, and he never let any of his victims live to see another day; he killed them all! This earned him the name “Doctor rob and kill“.
At the height of his horrific reign, Ishola Oyenusi bragged that “the bullet has no power“. He probably forgot that he who live by the sword will surely die by the sword. Oyenusi was so infamous that he was regarded by some people as the “first celebrated armed robber in Nigeria“, and after him was Lawrence Anini, Babatunde Folorunsho (Baba oni lace), Shina Rambo, Buraimo Jimoh and others.
How Ishola Oyenusi’s Nigeria Deadliest Armed Robber was Arrested
However, nothing lasts forever, and as the Yoruba adage says, everyday belongs to the thief while a day belongs to the owner.
On the 27th of March, 1971, Oyenusi was nabbed by the police during one of his robbery operations in which he and his notorious gang killed a police constable named Mr. Nwi and stole $28,000 as at then. Cloud of shame hovered above Doctor Ishola Oyenusi as he was casted before the law and found guilty then sentenced to death by firing squad.
Oyenusi confessed that he was not to die alone because he did not commit the crimes alone.
He vomited the names of other members of the gang which included: Joseph Osamedike, Ambrose Nwokobia, Joel Amamieye, Philip Ogbolumain, Ademola Adegbitan and Stephen Ndubuokwu.
Back then, public execution was the order of the day, so when Oyenusi was ushered to the popular Bar Beach in Lagos where he was to be executed, over 30,000 Nigerians were happily and excitedly waiting to see the man who had terrorized them get riddled by hot bullets.
It was said that some civil servants even brought a coffin to the execution ground to mock the once mighty robber kingpin who was now nothing but a scapegoat whose breath would be exhausted in any moment.
Trucks carrying Oyenusi and his executors arrived at the execution ground around 10:am. Doctor Oyenusi, his gang members and one other criminal got down slowly.
People jeered and booed them, especially Oyenusi who they had really trooped out to watch die. Oyenusi donned a dark long-sleeve shirt and had his hands tied behind him.
He was sweating profusely but managed to smile all the way to the stakes. He kept smiling, smiling and smiling but could still not hide the agony and terror written boldly on his face.
Few minutes before he was shot, Oyenusi told journalists that he would not have ventured into armed robbery if his parents were capable of sending him to secondary school.
He also said, “I am dying for the offence I have committed“. Oyenusi and other criminals were fastened to the stakes. The soldiers lined in front of them and aimed their ever-ready guns. Some of the criminals yelled their last words of protest at the cameras. Then a loud voice let out the word “fire”! Oyenusi and other criminals’ bodies were sprayed with bullets.
That was the bitter end of Ishola Oyenusi who lived by the bullets and died by the bullets. The execution of Doctor Ishola Oyenusi sent the streets of Lagos deserted at night. Families locked themselves behind doors for the fear that some of Oyenusi’s boys might retaliate.
The real history of Ishola Oyenusi who until his death was Nigeria deadliest armed robber will forever be remembered in the history of crime in Nigeria.