History of Igueben


Igueben was founded around 1516, during the reign of Oba Esigie. The town was founded by warriors sent by the oba to wage a retaliatory war against Idah.

On their way to Idah, the warriors camped at a spot for some days before moving forward. Some months later when they had successfully conquered Idah, they were returning home when they passed the same spot again. They found that the remains of the yams they fed on during their outward journey had germinated and blossomed. They found lots of succulent fruit and vegetables as well as many animals to hunt. The water from the springs also tasted good.

They were very impressed with the fertility of the soil in the area. Hence, they decided to live there permanently. They sent an emissary to the Oba to obtain permission to set up a new settlement in the area. After much deliberation, he granted their request.

To reward these soldiers for their effort and retain their loyalty, the Oba granted them the patent to engage in bronze casting for added trade; so they joined the Benin Royal Guild of Bronze Casters as the only ones outside of Benin City allowed to engage in bronze casting in the kingdom.

The new settlers perfected their craft of bronze casting and the production of the royal pestal called Eben. They cast and sent the Oba an Eben each year to show their gratitude and loyalty for this benevolence; this was accompanied by products from their harvest.

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The settlers later named the place Igue-Eben which means a village or camp for producing Eben; and so Igueben was born. The little settlement soon started to grow, particularly with the influx of traders from Benin city and other places.

Today, Igueben is the administrative headquarters of Igueben LGA and home to the state owned College of Education. HRH Ehizogie Eluojerior is the present onojie of the town. The people of Igueben are hard working, peaceful and friendly. Their dialect is a unique blend of Edo and Esan dialects.

Prince Innocent Omozokpia

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