Meet The youngest King and up till today Dein of Agbor,Delta State Obi Benjamin Ikenchukwu Keagborekuzi 1′

Dein of Agbor, Benjamin Ikenchukwu Keagborekuzi 1, is the 18th king of the kingdom, who ascended the throne at age two. He tells MATTHEW OCHEI about his 40 years’ experience on the throne

How would you describe your experience on the throne?

It has been extremely frustrating. This is an amazing country that has abundant mineral resources God has blessed us with, but we are not making use of what we have. I find that very unfortunate, I’m not one of those people who feel very comfortable when there are people around that are not doing fine. So, it has always been a problem for me over the last 19 years, seeing that the country is actually going backwards. We are not actually where we should be.

For me as a monarch, it is extremely frustrating. I have electricity because I can afford to buy diesel for my generator. There is electricity here now but I can tell you that the whole neighbourhood is in darkness, so definitely I cannot be comfortable with that.

I don’t know how any leader can be comfortable living in luxury and while their people are suffering, I can’t understand it at all; it has not been the best experience for me because as long as Nigerians are suffering, I’m suffering as well.

You were crowned when you were just two years and few months old, can you recall some of the things that happened at that stage of your life?

I am happy I cannot recall because in some of the pictures I saw, I didn’t look too happy. So, only God knows what was going through my mind at the time, like what are these people doing, what are you putting on my head? It must have been a very interesting period. It was God’s decision and we followed it.

So you don’t remember anything you did or any decision you took on the throne at the time?

No, I don’t. I can’t remember anything.

Why were you the one to take on the mantle at such a young age at the time and not one of your siblings?

We have three dynasties. For Ogene dynasty, one of them, it wasn’t necessary that a son should succeed his father. Anybody from the royal bloodline can become the king. But towards the end of Ogiso dynasty, it was around 1270 when the first king of my lineage, the Dein in 1270 AD, became the king.

From 1270 onwards, it became hereditary from father to son. Unfortunately, my father passed on when he was very young.  I was a little child at the time. There were lots of problems and the Agbor people put me on the throne. In Agbor here, whoever is the king is no longer a child and should be treated as a king. Therefore, I thank the late Oba of Benin for the role he played at the time because he played a very big role. Likewise, the late Oni of Ife and a former Governor of Bendel State, Samuel Ogbemudia played important roles. Eventually, it was agreed that it must follow our custom– from father to son.

It was even reported that there were assassination attempts on your life at that young age and that was why they had to take you abroad; is that true?

Like I said earlier, I was a child and cannot remember anything that happened at the time.

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