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Osasuyi Uwensuyi Edosomwan (1928-2000)



Prince Osasuyi Uwensuyi Edosomwan, accomplished surveyor and one of the founders of New Benin, died on May 9. He was 72.

AS a blue-blooded man and one of the earliest people to open up and settle in the present New Benin area of Benin City which was then heavily wooded and largely uninhabited in the 1950s, Prince Osasuyi Edosomwan who passed away on May 9, deserves a worthy goodbye. A descendant of the Elawure royal house of Usen in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State, Edosomwan's father was the Ayobahan of Benin and had a close and loyal relationship with the Benin palace which earned him the regency of Ofunama and Oza areas of Benin Kingdom as well as one of the judges in the court of Oba Eweka II.


His forefathers having been titled chiefs in Benin Kingdom, it was only natural that Edosomwan was initiated into that honored society following the transition of his father, the Ayobahan, in 1935. Losing his father at a tender age of seven, he grew up under the tutelage of his much older cousin, the late Pa. Ogbebor.

He attended St. Andrew's Primary School in Warri where he was baptized into the Anglican faith with the name Osasuyi, meaning, 'God is worthy of honor.' His contemporaries at St. Andrew's include Chief Alison Ayida, a former permanent secretary and head of service of the federation.

Edosomwan subsequently had his secondary education at Government College, Ughelli which was then located in Warri. Some of his school mates are late Chief Demas Akpore, a former deputy governor of the defunct Bendel State; G.A.T. Aggrey, Major-General David Ejoor (rtd), former Chief of Army Staff; Chief S.E. Nakpodia; a guru in the private sector, Chief Gamaliel Onosode among others.

On completion of his secondary education, he joined the Survey Office of the then Benin City Council after a brief stint at his alma mater. He later proceeded to the School of Survey in Oyo as a trainee surveyor and returned to the Survey Office of the Benin City Council which coincidentally was at that

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    time undertaking the expansion of the modern Benin.  This afforded him the opportunity to make his contribution to what has turned out to be a modern town planning scheme in Benin City. He also took part in the planning and execution of the layout scheme of Egua Edaiken.

Of all the schemes he had a hand in, the New Benin project which opened up the core area in the mid 1950s, remained his most fulfilling, according to his son Charles. With that in mind, his only regret as an Odionwere (community leader) would be his not being alive to see the execution of the Costain Road Link Bridge project to curb the life-threatening erosion problem that has claimed many lives and property over the years in New Benin which contract was awarded in the mid 1990s.

Prince Osasuyi Uwensuyi Edosomwan was no doubt an exemplary son of Usen and a notable community leader in New Benin. With his passage, New Benin has lost an organizer of repute. He will be buried today at his residence in New Benin, Benin City.

- Godwin Ijediogor (Guardian) .