The premier web site of Edo speaking people.

Nation of people who are mostly located in the Midwestern part of Nigeria, Western  Africa.




With gratitude to God for the blessed long awaited favourable environmental conditions in Edo State, we the entire members of this Institute wish to heartily congratulate you all and warmly welcome you to this memorable occasion.


We are indeed pleased to note that this lecture is the first major project of this Institute in the administration of Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole in Edo State. Our hopes are high in the possible reversal of the criminal neglect by successive governments of our rich cultural heritage, ethics and intellectual development. The era of wanton destruction of human life, and debasement of dignity coupled with the loss of individual and collective integrity sacrificed on the altar of miscreants - worship for criminal party patronage can legitimately be expected to have gone “with the winds”. Conversely, the restoration of individual and collective integrity would no doubt manifest in the anticipated speedy recovery of Edo State in its entirety.


The distress occasioned by past neglect of our cultural development engendered the establishment of this Institute which has remained fledgling after being in existence for more than 12 years.  Funding her activities has been strenuous for the Board, Members and Fellows which makes it impossible for our projects and programmes to be executed as articulated.


Earlier in the year, the Retreat for Edo Language Users in the Media organized by this Institute held with the active collaboration of Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri Foundation while Tayo Akpata Foundation has also offered to sponsor an International Conference in June 2009 in collaboration with this Institute. We are indeed grateful to all our benefactors and humbly appeal that more individuals, groups and corporate organizations come to the support of the Institute in realizing its onerous tasks. As we are all agreed on the extent of degeneration and therefore, the huge efforts in time, energy and finances required for regeneration, meeting objectives and executing projects would hopefully enjoy greater patronage.


The topic for this year’s lecture significantly assumes a National and International status and it transverses two centuries and even millennia. Perhaps no other individual than today’s lecturer – Prof. Akin Oyebode who specializes in the ‘Law of Treaties’ could do required level of intellectual justice to the topic. This assertion can only be controverted at the end of the lecture, but we know that you all present would have no choice than to concur with our rating and confidence. Happy listening.


This Institute in the spirit of fair-play invited the British High Commissioner to this event in August 2008 with a reminder personally delivered on 8th October, 2008 yet the snobbish hegemonic attitude or possibly guilt, would not allow the Institute the benefit of even simple acknowledgement of receipt of letters let alone attendance.


Nonetheless, in our usual tradition, we have carefully selected two recipients for this year’s award. Prefecture Apostolic Fr. Charles Zappa SMA was the most visible Christian Religious Leader overseeing the Benin Area during the punitive expedition of 1897. Yet in the interregnum before 1914 when the Monarchy was restored, the integrity and essence of the Benin People’s religious worship was protected and preserved. In contrast to the present day over ambitious, fanatically myopic ‘Christian’ he refrained from instigating reference to anything in African belief as “fetish”, evil and anti-Christ, but ensured that some aspects of the peoples’ religious culture were preserved. Relics and articles of worship were also preserved which enabled Omo N’Oba Akenzua II, of blessed memory to re-establish the Holy Aruosa Cathedral. A big Bell stands till today as a testimony of the magnanimity of the “victorious”.


Chief Joseph Alufa Igbinovia MON is the second recipient and his feat to earn recognition was to drag world wide shame from Nigeria when Britain refused to allow Nigeria nay Africa and the Black World the use of the Idia Mask which was stolen from Benin City in 1897. Chief Igbinovia skillfully replicated the Mask that became the symbol of Black and African Festival of Arts & Culture (FESTAC) in 1977.


Hon. Chief Dr. (Mrs) Irene Ododo Odaro GCOM is the Institute’s elected Fellow to the College of Fellows which already has six members. Her versatility in literary development and willingness to project Benin in general has earned her this election which she eminently deserves.


To sustain the tempo of Cultural development and advancement which we have modestly blazed its trail, numerous programmes have been articulated for the year 2009. These include: Workshop for Edo Language Teachers and Users, Performing Arts Competition, International Conference / Journal, Culinary Exhibition of Edo State’s Communities, 11th Egharevba Memorial Lecture and Arts Exhibition.


For each of these projects, we require sponsorship, collaboration and or cooperation, assistance and support.  Mention must at this juncture be made of such generous donors as Mr. Victor Ogiemwonyi, MD/CEO Partnership Investment Company Limited, Dr. Osagie E. Ehanire, Solomon Asemota Esq.,SAN, Hon. Justice P. O. Isibor, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae and Mr. Andrew O. Ehanire, MD/CEO Ogba Zoo & Nature Park who have jointly provided the life line for organizing this lecture.



However, in addition to physical (cash and kind) support, we advocate a new idealism and altruism among the people of Edo and a vibrant renaissance in the language, culture and environments. Granted that mistakes have been made, we unequivocally posit that retracing wrong steps and positively forging ahead towards predetermined goals and objectives remains the only route to genuine excellence. Edo can be great once again but not when we demonstrate apathy and irreverence towards our glorious past and enviable achievements.


We thank you all once again for honouring this Institute with your esteemed presence and of course to Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, we owe our continued loyalty and filial obedience.


Thank you all. Oba ghato, Okpere. Ise.

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Last modified: December 20, 2008