A GUIDED TOUR ROUND THE OPEN GROUNDS
There are four giant wrought – iron gates and a fifth pedestrian gate leading into the open grounds or premises of the centre. The gates are:
- Iwowa Gate: This leads to the centre’s museum, dining centre, bar and the OBANAMEN.
- Ivie Gate: It leads to the reception room for the High Priest’s esteemed private visitors and is named after the High Priest’s first daughter Aiye Ivieruemwinoya.
Two African soldiers bearing spears and sculptured in cement, stand guard on both sides of the big gates for twenty-four hours. Four steps introduce the gate while broadening it on one side is a signboard done in cement creaming: Welcome to Ebohon Cultural Centre, Benin City. At the back of this signboard is the God of Death and his chief messenger- Ofoe N’ Uko Oiguwu statues housed in a room. Facing it is the statue of a respectable Bini woman on her knees presenting a cock and native kolanuts to the God, pleading with it to save her life. On top of the gate is a cement slab of roof holding a mini Bini cultural music-cum-dance troupe of three men and two women in captivating pose. Further up this slab roof is an African traditional drummer welcoming all visitors to the centre. The gate also has a one room building called Ada – “Crossroads.”
- Ohiovbu Gate: This is the smallest of the five gates. It is named after an evergreen herb that survives the vagaries of all seasons. In addition, it shares a boundary with Ivie Gate.
- Iyayimwan (Our Religion) Gate: This leads to the Garden of the Gods (Ugbo-Ebo). Two statues, a male and female, welcome visitors at this gate. On the left side of the female statue is a sign post on which is inscribed “Danger!!” You enter this compound between 11pm and 5:30 am at your own risk. “Traditional security forces are at alert.” Usually, this gate is used for admitting tourists to the centre. There also two other big statues of an Ogun Priest and Fulani lady in a posture of innocence, gazing at those going and coming on Odenede Street. This gate has played host to the traditional marriage of two of the High Priest’s daughters, Iyesogie and Ivie. Now it is commonly referred to as the Marriage gate apart from the original name.
Beside the Marriage Gate is a mini concrete hut roofed with red aluminum sheets... (read more)