Old Igodomigodo The Ancestral Home Of Great Benin kingdom
Around 15th century at the time when Benin was called Igodomingodo, that geographical area now known as Benin, was the hob of a conglomeration of little towns that developed or spread into most of the areas of modern Bendel State. Throughout that period, lgodomingodo made steady progress especially in the areas of spiritual, philosophical and administrative development.
Its efforts were largely concentrated on the arrangement of human order so that by the time Europeans made contact with the people of Benin in the 15th century, they had already established an administrative system which, till this day, baffled the Europeans and earned for the Capital of this “far flung” African country, the appellation “City”. The nucleus of this great civilization was the monarchy which the Binins perfected around the 18th century when, after a series of experimentation with the Ogiso, and some of the past-Ogiso Obas, they introduced a monarchical system that is based on the principle of primogeniture, beginning with Ewuakpe, about 1712 A. D.
From the days of Owodo until now, the system of direct ascension has endured making the Benin Royal family one of the oldest families in Africa. It’s history spans more than 800 years. Benin City remains today as conservative as it ever was. Shifting slowly, sometimes uneasily, under the pressures or demands of modernity, Benin recognizes that all living organisms (including states and cities) change. That change has reduced to mere historical fact the political influence Benin exercised over places such as Eko (Lagos) which she founded at the time of Oba Orhogbua (about 1550 A.D.) Ghana, Dahomey, both across the borders of modern Nigeria; Onitsha on the Niger and many other places such as Asaba, Agbor, lssele-Uku, Warri, ldah etc.
Many of these towns actually owe their corporate existence to Benin. Since inter-action between African kingdoms began around the 14th century, Benin found herself in a unique geographic position by occupying mid -way between what the early Europeans referred to as the”Yoruba country” and the “lbo country”. This proximity to the two areas no doubt broadened the outlook of the Benins in later years.