The Benin Traditional Council has directed all residents of the city not to cook with fire or any other process that generates heat on Sunday.
The directive is part of the funeral rites scheduled to mark the transition of the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa, as well as one of the activities leading to the coronation of a new monarch.
A palace press release to journalists on Friday in Benin City, Edo State, signed by the Secretary of Benin Traditional Council, Frank Irabor, advised Benin residents not to cook with fire.
The release stated, “This is to inform the general public, that in continuation of the Royal Funeral Rites and in accordance with Benin Customs and Tradition, there shall be no cooking with fire in the every household in Benin Kingdom on Sunday, 5th June, 2016.”
“This is the day of Edenagberen-Mwiwu in the Royal Funeral Rites Programme. All Benins as well as non-indigenes are expected to observe this rite.”
Anxious residents have questioned how they will feed without cooking on Sunday. They also asked questions about what would happen to anyone that breaks the rule.
Clarifying the directive in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, urged non-indigenes not be too disturbed by the rule or directive especially as it is made for the sons and daughters of Benin Kingdom.
Chief Edebiri, who is popularly called The Oracle of Benin Kingdom said, “The non-indigenes should not be worried. It is a tradition. It is meant for those who adhere to the tradition.”
“But if you are a stranger and you mistakenly break the tradition that day by making fire, you have no cause or reason to fear.”