Aerial view of Benin City
|• Total||1,204 km2 (465 sq mi)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)|
Benin City is the capital, and largest city of Edo State in southern Nigeria. It is the fourth-largest city in Nigeria after Lagos, Kano and Ibadan, with a total population of 1,782,000 as of 2021. It is situated approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of the Benin River and 320 kilometres (200 mi) by road east of Lagos. Benin City is the centre of Nigeria's rubber industry, and oil production is also a significant industry.
It was the most important city of the Edo kingdom of Benin, which flourished during the 13th to the 19th century. It had important trade relations with Portugal during the last centuries before being razed in 1897 by a British punitive raid. Many treasures and artifacts, including the Benin Bronzes were taken by the British who followed up their victory with a military occupation of the area.
The indigenous people of Benin City are the Edo people (The Benin People), and they speak the Edo language and other Edoid languages. The people of the city have one of the richest dress cultures on the African continent and are known for their beads, body marks, bangles, anklets, raffia work and the subsistence farming of yam, plantain and cassava.
The original people and founders of the Ẹdo Empire and the Ẹdo people initially were ruled by the Ogiso (Kings of the Sky) dynasty who called their land Igodomigodo. Igodo, the first Ogiso, wielded much influence and gained popularity as a good ruler. He died after a long reign and was succeeded by Ere, his eldest son. In the 12th century, great palace intrigue and the battle for power erupted between the warrior crown prince Ekaladerhan, son of the last Ogiso and his young paternal uncle. In anger over an oracle, Prince Ekaladerhan left the royal court with his warriors. When his old father the Ogiso died, the Ogiso dynasty was ended as the people and royal kingmakers preferred their king's son as natural next in line to rule.
The exiled Ekaladerhan, who was not known, gained the title of Ogiso, which has been corrected in the Yoruba language to Oba (Ọghẹnẹ) of Benin. He refused to return to Ile ife but sent his son Ọranmiyan to become king in his place. Prince Ọranmiyan took up residence in the palace built for him at Uzama by the elders, now a coronation shrine. Soon after he married a beautiful lady, Ẹrinmwide, daughter of Osa-nego, the ninth Enogie of Edọ. He and Erinwide had a son. After some years he called a meeting of the people and renounced his office, remarking that the country was a land of vexation, Ile-Ibinu, and that only a child born, trained and educated in the arts and mysteries of the land could reign over the people. The country was afterward known by this name. He caused his son born to him by Ẹrinmwide to be made King in his place and returned to Benin land . After some years in Ife, he left for Benin, where he also left a son behind upon leaving, and his son Ajaka ultimately became the first Oba of Benin of the present line, while Ọranmiyan (the exiled Prince Ekaladerhan, also known as Izoduwa) himself was reigning as Ọọni of Ifẹ. Therefore, Ọranmiyan of Ife, the father of Ẹwẹka I, the Ọba of Benin, was also the father of Ajaka, Alaafin of Ọyọ. Ọọni of Ifẹ. Allegedly Ọba Ẹwẹka later changed the name of the city of Ile-Binu, the capital of the Benin kingdom, to "Ubinu." This name would be reinterpreted by the Portuguese as "Benin" in their own language. Around 1470, Ẹwuare changed the name of the state to Ẹdo. This was about the time the people of Ọkpẹkpẹ migrated from Benin City. Alternatively, Yorubas believe Oduduwa was from the Middle East and migrated from that area to the present Ile Ife. Because of his power and military might, he was able to conquer the enemies invading Benin. That was why the people of Benin made him the King or Oba of Benin. In any case, it is agreed upon by both the Yoruba and Edos that Oduduwa sent his son Prince Oramiyan of Ife to rule Benin City and found the Oba dynasty in Benin City.
The Portuguese visited Benin City around 1485. Benin grew rich during the 16th and 17th centuries due to trade within southern Nigeria, as well as through trade with Europeans, mostly in pepper and ivory. In the early 16th century, the Ọba sent an ambassador to Lisbon, and the King of Portugal sent Christian missionaries to Benin. Some residents of Benin could still speak a pidgin Portuguese in the late 19th century. Many Portuguese loan words can still be found today in the languages of the area. A Portuguese captain described the city in 1691:"Great Benin, where the king resides, is larger than Lisbon; all the streets run straight and as far as the eye can see. The houses are large, especially that of the king, which is richly decorated and has fine columns. The city is wealthy and industrious. It is so well governed that theft is unknown and the people live in such security that they have no doors to their houses". This was at a time when theft and murder were rife in London.
On 17 February 1897, Benin City fell to the British. In the "Punitive Expedition", a 1,200-strong British force, under the command of Admiral Sir Harry Rawson, conquered and razed the city after all but two men from a previous British expeditionary force led by Acting Consul General Philips were killed. Alan Boisragon, one of the survivors of the Benin Massacre, included references of the practice of human sacrifice in the city in a firsthand account written in 1898 (one year after the Punitive Expedition). James D. Graham notes that although "there is little doubt that human sacrifices were an integral part of the Benin state religion from very early days," firsthand accounts regarding such acts often varied significantly, with some reporting them and others making no mention of them.
The "Benin Bronzes", portrait figures, busts and groups created in iron, carved ivory, and especially in brass (conventionally called "bronze"), were taken from the city by the British and are currently displayed in various museums around the world. Some of the bronzes were auctioned off to compensate for the expenses incurred during the invasion of the city. Most of these artifacts can be found today in British museums and other parts of the world. In recent years, various appeals have gone to the British government to return such artifacts. The most prominent of these artifacts was the famous Queen Idia mask used as a mascot during the Second Festival of Arts Culture (FESTAC '77) held in Nigeria in 1977 now known as "Festac Mask".
The capture of Benin paved the way for British military occupation and the merging of later regional British incorporation of African kingdoms into the Niger Coast Protectorate, the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria and finally, into the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. The British permitted the restoration of the Benin monarchy in 1914, but true political power still lay with the colonial administration of Nigeria.
Following Nigeria's independence from British rule in 1960, Benin City became the capital of Mid-Western Region when the region was splitted from Western Region in June 1963. In 1976 when the region was renamed as Bendel State, it remained the capital of the region and became the state capital of Ẹdo State when Bendel was splitted into Delta and Edo states in 1991.
Climate refers to the characteristic conditions of the earth’s lower surface atmosphere at a specific location; weather refers to the day-to-day fluctuations in these conditions at the same location. The commonly used variables that are by meteorologists to measure daily weather phenomena are air temperature, precipitation (for example, rain, sleet, snow and hail), atmospheric pressure and humidity, wind, and sunshine and cloud cover. Benin City has a borderline tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw) bordering upon a tropical monsoon climate (Am). The weather is uncomfortably hot and humid year-round, and generally very dull, especially between July and September.
|Climate data for Benin City|
|Record high °C (°F)||34.4
|Average high °C (°F)||31.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||25.8
|Average low °C (°F)||21.4
|Record low °C (°F)||12.8
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||18
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.3 mm)||2||4||9||12||16||20||23||19||25||21||7||2||160|
|Average relative humidity (%)||84||81||84||85||87||90||93||92||91||89||86||84||87|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||179.8||178.0||173.6||177.0||176.7||144.0||99.2||89.9||81.0||148.8||192.0||213.9||1,853.9|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||5.8||6.3||5.6||5.9||5.7||4.8||3.2||2.9||2.7||4.8||6.4||6.9||5.1|
|Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst|
Benin City is home to some of Nigeria's institutions of higher learning, namely, the University of Benin located at Ugbowo and Ekenwan, the Ambrose Alli University located at Ekpoma, the College of Education Ekiadolor, Igbinedion University, the Benson Idahosa University and Wellspring University. Secondary schools in Nigeria such as, Edo College, Edo Boys High School (Adolo College), Western Boys High School, Oba Ewuare Grammar School, Greater Tomorrow Secondary School, Garrick Memorial Secondary School, Winrose Secondary School, Asoro Grammar School, Eghosa Grammar School, Edokpolor Grammar School, Covenant Christian Academy, Niger College, Presentation National High School, Immaculate Conception College, Idia College, University of Benin Demonstration Secondary School, University Preparatory Secondary School, Auntie Maria School, Benin Technical College, Headquarters of Word of Faith Group of Schools, Lydia Group of Schools, Nosakhare Model Education Centre and Igbinedion Educational Center, Federal Government Girls College, Benin City, Paragon Comprehensive College, and Itohan Girls Grammar School. Some of the vocational schools in Benin City include Micro International Training Center, Computer Technology and Training Center, Okunbor Group of Schools.
Attractions in the city includes the National Museum, the Oba Palace, Igun Street (Famous for bronze casting and other metal works). Other attractions include various festivals and the Benin Moats (measuring about 20 to 40 ft), the King's Square (known as Ring Road) and its traditional markets.
The Binis are known for bronze sculpture, its casting skills, and their arts and craft. Benin City is also the home of one of the oldest sustained monarchies in the world. Various festivals are held in Benin City yearly to celebrate various historic occasions and seasons. Igue festival is the most popular of the festivals where the Oba celebrates the history and culture of his people and blesses the land and the people. It is celebrated at a time between Christmas and New Year.
Benin city has a popular festival called Igue Festival. The festival is an annual event held in Benin to usher in the new year. The festival is an integral part of the culture of the people in Benin City (formerly referred to as Benin Kingdom or the Kingdom of Benin). The festival is believed to renew Oba Ewuare magical powers and it celebration comes between Christmas and New Year celebrations. The festival includes the Oba's blessing of the land and his people.
Aside the cultural festival, the City also play host to the Benin City Film Festival. The festival create room for the promotion of works produced by local film community. It also promote contents of National and International emerging filmmakers to showcase their works in an environment where they have access to experienced industry professionals.
Bini Market Days
The "Bini" people have four market days: Ekioba, Ekenaka, Agbado, and Eken.
- Godwin Abbe, former Nigerian Minister for Interior and Defence
- Ambrose Folorunsho Alli, former governor of the defunct Bendel State. He created the Bendel State University now named after him as "Ambrose Alli University"
- Eghosa Asemota Agbonifo, politician
- Anthony Anenih, chairman, the board of trustees (PDP) and Nigeria's former Minister of Works
- Suleiman Braimoh (born 1989), Nigerian-American basketball player in the Israel Basketball Premier League
- Archbishop John Edokpolo, Minister of Trade and Founder of Edokpolor Grammar School
- Francis Edo-Osagie, businessman
- Jacob U. Egharevba, Bini historian and traditional chief
- Anthony Enahoro, anti-colonial and pro-democracy activist and politician
- Festus Ezeli, basketball player
- Abel Guobadia, former Chairman of Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission
- Benson Idahosa, Founder of Church of God Mission International Incorporated and Idahosa World Outreach (IWO)
- Felix Idubor, artist
- Felix Liberty, musician
- Gabriel Igbinedion, businessman and Esama of Benin kingdom
- Festus Iyayi, novelist and first African to win the Commonwealth Writers Prize
- Suleman Johnson, senior pastor and general overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International
- Samuel Ogbemudia, former governor of the Midwest region of Nigeria and later Bendel state
- Sonny Okosun, musician
- Suyi Davies Okungbowa, African fantasy and speculative fiction author
- Osasere Orumwense, Vice-Chancellor of University of Benin
- Osayuki Godwin Oshodin, former Vice-Chancellor of University of Benin
- Demi Isaac Oviawe, Ireland-based actress
- Chris Oyakhilome, founder and president of Believers LoveWorld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy
- Modupe Ozolua, cosmetic surgeon
- Victor Uwaifo, musician
- "Benin City | History & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- "International Rubber Study Group - Nigeria". www.rubberstudy.com. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- "See the 6 Ancient Cities in Nigeria and Reasons why they are Old Cities, Check if your City is Among - Opera News". ng.opera.news. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
- Benin, City, Nigeria, Archived 25 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2005 Columbia University Press. Retrieved 18 February 2007
- "Edo People – Edo Nigeria Association of Western Australia". Retrieved 9 July 2021.
- "The kingdom of Benin". BBC Bitesize. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- Pynith (21 March 2020). "the history of Benin city you need to know - LPV Forum". lpvforum.com. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
- "Benin City | Hometown.ng™". 24 November 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
- The Sun, Wednesday, 17 September 2008.
- "Benin Kingdom in Edo is Yoruba territory -- Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi | Premium Times Nigeria". 10 February 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
- "The Place Of Oranmiyan In The History Of Ile - Ife". Vanguard News. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
- "Benin City | History & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
- Koutonin, Mawuna (18 March 2016). "Story of cities #5: Benin City, the mighty medieval capital now lost without trace". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
- Elias, Taslim Olawale (1988). Africa and the development of international law (Second edition, first published 1972 ed.). Springer Netherlands. p. 12. ISBN 9789024737963. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
- Taub, Ben (10 April 2017). "The Desperate Journey of a Trafficked Girl". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017.
In 1897, after the Edo slaughtered a British delegation, colonial forces, pledging to end slavery and ritual sacrifice, ransacked the city and burned it to the ground.
- Obinyan, Thomas Uwadiale (1988). "The Annexation of Benin". Journal of Black Studies. 19 (1): 29–40. doi:10.1177/002193478801900103. JSTOR 2784423. S2CID 142726955.
- Boisragon, A. The Benin Massacre(1897).
- Graham, James D. (1965). "The Slave Trade, Depopulation and Human Sacrifice in Benin History: The General Approach". Cahiers d'Études Africaines. 5 (18): 317–334. doi:10.3406/cea.1965.3035. JSTOR 4390897.
- "The kingdom of Benin". BBC Bitesize. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
- Marshall, Alex (23 January 2020). "This Art Was Looted 123 Years Ago. Will It Ever Be Returned?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
- "Nigeria - The arrival of the British". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
- "Bendel | state, Nigeria". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- Toyin, Falola (2005). Akinwunmi, Ogundiran (ed.). Precolonial Nigeria (2005 ed.). African World Press Inc. pp. 264–265. ISBN 978-1592212194.
- Antal, R.; Ernö, S. (1975). "[A rare form of the trigger finger]". Magyar Traumatologia, Orthopaedia Es Helyreallito Sebeszet. 18 (4): 304–305. ISSN 0025-0317. PMID 1597.
- "TAR Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability — IPCC". Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Klimatafel von Benin City / Nigeria" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "University of Benin on The Conversation". theconversation.com. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "Ambrose Alli University | TOP ranked University | University Directory". www.university-directory.eu. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "College of Education, Ekiadolor-Benin coeeki| School Fees, Courses & Admission info". universitycompass.com. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "16 students bag first class at Igbinedion University 18th convocation". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "NUC approves new courses for BIU". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "Wellspring University | School Fees, Courses & Admission info". universitycompass.com. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "Edo College Old Boys' Association - Home". ecoba.org.ng. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "Benin Technical College nears completion ahead of school resumption". Nigerian Observer. 26 August 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "Igbinedion Education Centre in ,". www.edusko.com. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GIRLS COLLEGE BENIN's Official Website". fggcbenin.com. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- Trillo, Richard (2008), The Rough Guide to West Africa, Rough Guides, p. 2629, ISBN 978-1-84353-850-9
- Ademola Iyi-eweka, Ph.D. "IGUE FESTIVAL". www.edo-nation.net. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- "Igue Festival, Festivals And Carnivals In Edo State :: Nigeria Information & Guide". www.nigeriagalleria.com. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "Igue Festival – Visit Edo". Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "History of Igue Festival in Benin-City". edofolks.com. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "Igue Festival | Hometown.ng™". 5 September 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "4th Benin City Film Festival: Call for Entries | LADIMA". ladima.africa. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "BENIN CITY FILM FESTIVAL | GivingWay". www.givingway.com. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
- "Obaseki celebrates with Godwin Abbe at 70". Vanguard News. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- Irene, Oseremen Felix (2000). Footpaths: a life of service : tribute to prof. Ambrose Folorunsho Alli : a compendium of achievements. Ibadan, Nigeria: National Association of Edo State Students. OCLC 53015677.
- "Prof. Ambrose Folorunsho Alli". www.edoworld.net. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Eghosa Asemota Agbonifo speak on what inspired him to join Edo State politics, as campaign kicks off". Businessday NG. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "How Late Chief Tony Anenih Became "Mr. Fix It"". Vanguard News. 3 November 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- Proballers. "Suleiman Braimoh, Basketball Player". Proballers. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Politics and Legacies- Arch-Bishop John Enoyogiere Edokpolo and the verdict of history- a text presented at Edokpolo Grammar School Old Boys 50th Anniversary Ceremony- 4thDecember 2010 by Comrade Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo- SSA to the Gov of Edo State". Nigerian Voice. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- Eisenhofer, Stefan (January 1995). "The Origins of the Benin Kingship in the Works of Jacob Egharevba". History in Africa. 22: 141–163. doi:10.2307/3171912. ISSN 0361-5413.
- "Chief Anthony Enahoro obituary". The Guardian. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Abel Guobadia". www.edoworld.net. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Abel Guobadia, ex-INEC chairman dies at 78". Vanguard News. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Archbishop Idahosa told me about his death – Oyakhilome". Vanguard News. 15 March 2020. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "The hunt for Marianne is being led by Bonhams' Nigeria representative, Neil Coventry". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 22 September 2019. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "My father's lifestyle affected my childhood —Felix Liberty's daughter". Vanguard News. 12 February 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Esama of Benin, Igbinedion, glows at 86". Punch Newspapers. 13 September 2020. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Driver who caused death of Professor Festus Iyayi jailed seven years | Premium Times Nigeria". 23 February 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- siteadmin (11 June 2021). "Apostle Suleman Warns Buhari, Threatens Him With God Over IPOB Treatment". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- Nwachukwu, John Owen (13 June 2021). "You can't cheat nature - Apostle Suleman reacts to T.B Joshua's death". Daily Post Nigeria. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Former Governor Samuel Ogbemudia is dead | Premium Times Nigeria". 10 March 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- siteadmin (26 May 2015). "The Death That Brings Life: Stella Okosun Saving Lives Through Sonny Okosun Colon Cancer Foundation By Bayo Oluwasanmi". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Suyi Davies Okungbowa". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "UNIBEN to graduate 19, 472 students as 118 bag First Class". P.M. News. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Business Service News | Guardian Newspaper". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- Brady, Tara. "Demi Isaac Oviawe of Young Offenders: 'I naturally have a resting bitch face'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Chris Oyakhilome". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Modupe Ozolua". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Victor Uwaifo and I were street hawkers in Benin, says Igbinedion". Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics. 11 July 2021. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- Bondarenko D. M. A Homoarchic Alternative to the Homoarchic State: Benin Kingdom of the Thirteenth - Nineteenth Centuries. Social Evolution & History. 2005. vol. 4, no 2. pp. 18–88.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Benin City.|