THE MARKET AND THE LANDMARKS OF OBADAN
The Obadan marketing place used to be at the location where Obadan Primary School is now. Obadan primary school is located at the begin phase of Obadan residential building area. Towards the end of 1950, it was moved away from Obadan primary school location to Okpagha Street where it was held for about two years before it was transferred to the present site: The Town Center. The market was moved to its present location in order to create space for school buildings. No one knows when the market was started.
The Cord Of Obadan Market (Irhie´ki)
The most important thing of this market is a relic called “the cord of the mark” (Irhieki). The “Irhieki” was given to Obadan people to establish a market and for the survival of the market. It is neither a written document nor a staff. Only the custodian knows what it is. Some people said the cord of the market was given to Obadan by Oba Akenzua I (1713). Some said it is an age long relic. Only the Palace can say when.
The cord of the market (Irhieki) is given only to the indigenes of Obadan whose parents’ ancestors could be traced to the fourth generation. Nobody sees this (Irhieki) apart from three people. They are the Oba of Benin, the person who hands it over to another person when the former is promoted from the group that is supposed to hold the cord. The age group that holds the cord supervises the organization of the market and settles disputes arising from it. The cord is only given to the junior elders who have performed the “Igbesi” ceremony.
One of the Obadan landmarks is the Pond. There are two ponds in Obadan, one is located at the center of Okpagha and the other is located at Igun Street. The one at Okpagha is the main one which was dug for house hold use. Nobody knows when it was dug. It serves as a swimming pool for the Okpagha children. People learn how to swim from this pond. One of the features of this pond is that it has a “mystic stone” in one of the deeps (Uye-Egui) which when exposed would cause rain to fall. Some people said that the stone was put there during the time of Oba Ewuare of the Benin kingdom, to make the pond a reservoir. The author (D.E. Odia) of “A concise History of Obadan” said he first experienced the exposition of the stone in March 1954 when the eroded mud and debris were removed from the pond. He said it was very drizzling and they had to quickly cover it up with mud.
The Cannon (ETU)
The Obadan cannon (Etu) weighs about 50kg and it’s kept at the Enogie´s palace. The history surrounding this says it was shot in Benin City (Edo State, Nigeria) during one of the wars and it fell at the Enogie´s palace. Nobody knows when it got there. It is not exactly clear how old the mortar gun is.
There is a moat at the eastern end of Obadan which according to the elders was dug in the olden days for two purposes.
1. For security purpose.
2. To serve as a boundary between Obadan and other villages like Ohuan and Udeni. The moat maintains this second purpose till date.
The second moat at the tail-end of Ugbekaen Street is known as Iya-Iloi. This was dug in the olden days to prevent the Oba´s wives who were kept in the custody of Obadan people from escaping. Iloi means (Oba´s wives).