What we stand for
The Benin National Congres is a Socio-cultural Organization formed primarily to advance the cause of Edo people (Benin’s, Esan, Afemai and other tribes in Edo state who believe that they migrated from the old Benin Empire) within the context of the common wealth of Nigeria’s ethinic nationalities. The Congress could also be perceived as a consciousness that believe that “injustice somewhere is injustice everywhere”.
To this end the Congress offers objective criticism or analysis or presentation on any issue that concerns humanity. The movement was formed on the 23rd of july 2005. Meanwhile, one of its affiliates, the Benin Youth Congress (now called the Benin Youth Council) has existed in the last nine years articulating and mobilizing Edo Youths on issues that affects our collective heritage.
The founding Members of Benin National Congress are:
- Comrade Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo – Founder and President
- Mr. Osarenren Oscar Obaseki (R.I.P) – Founding Secretary
- Mr. Osagumwero Iyawe – Founding Member
- Mr. Amadin Obasuyi – Founding Member
- Mr. Omowemwenguan Imadiyi – Ag. Secretary General
The contemporary concern of the average Edo man before the existience of BNC then, was the need to have a formidable group that cut across all political parties and interests and capable of championing the perceived marginalization of Benin nation and at the same time advance the pride for which its contribution to history and civilization is crested. The name Benin National Congress was carefully chosen by the founders because the group was envisaged to be an ethnic consciousness or movement, which could embark the emancipation of its people when the need arises.
At this time, the name “Edo” could have been adopted, but it was reasoned that it could be portrayed as a political group and thereby defeating the social-cultural motives. Another reason for the choice of the name was to symbolize the immeasurable contributions of the old Benin empire (undoubtedly the centre of cultural microcosm in Africa ) to civilization and World heritage dignity. In a sense, the Congress was conceived to protect the rich Cultural Herigage of the empire from all tendencies of Cultural imperialism and at the same time ensures that its people are united and prosperous.
The Benin National Merit Award
The founding members of the Benin National Congress conceived of a project that could widen our scope of appreciation of hard work and excellent contributions to humanity beyond the traditional manner of honor usually performed by Traditional rulers in our rural settings. It was reasoned that until patriots are singled out among their peers and honored for their diligent service to mankind, most people could hardly seek to be patriotic.
Like most pholosophers say – theories or historical remarks or conceptualizations are usually influenced by the contemporary developments within a given place, the founding members were overwhelmingly worried that while Edo people held enviable positions within the political and economic space at Home and Abroad, there was little or nothing to show vis-a-vis the decaying infrastructures and abysmal standard of living, no thanks to the gross under representation of our people by the “elected representatives”.
The founding members then agreed that an Award that would be tied to the Congress as part of its cultural property should be conceptualized. At the end, Benin National Merit Award was carefully chosen. It is considered very dear to the congress that it wish every deserving personalities across the globe irrespective of tribe or place of origin will be honored with it.
Objectives of BNMA
The objective of the annual award include:
To serve as a social platform to evaluate the contributions of concerned people to the growth and development of Benin kingdom and humanity.
To serve as a reference point to the appreciation of the awardees for their hard work, goodwill and integrity.
To serve as a platform for cultural re-awakening of cherished values and normes.
To serve the purpose of stimulation and motivation to the young and old who are on the path of patriotic and diligent service to mankind.
BNMA Progress Report
Since its formal convocation on 29th December 2005, the annual project has honored the following personalities.
Prof. Denise E. Agbonlahor
Pharm. Mathew A. Urhoghide
Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon
Princess Dr. (Mrs.) Katherine Oronsaye
Deaconess (Mrs.) Ayo Uzamere
Capt. Idahosa Okunbor
Mr. Razaq Bello – Osagie
Mr. Odaro Ize – Omoregie
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole
Comrade Osa – Director
Prof. Julius Ihonvbere
Mr. Louis Enobakhare
Hon. Sir Victor Uwaifo MON JP
Engineer (Dr) Chris Ogiemwonyi
Prof. Eghosa Osaghae
Uncle Sam Amuka
Comrade Orobosa Omo – Ojo JP
Mr. Iyobosa Edebiri MON JP
Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui – Okaeru
Dr. O.S. B. Omoregie
Prof. Tony Ogiamien
Owere Dickson Imasogie
Hon. Joe Atohengbe
Prof. O. G. Oshodin
Prince Osagie Eholor
Late Arc. Bishop J. E. Edokpolo
Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen
Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye
Prof. Friday Okonofua
Pst. Osagie Ize Iyamu
The Leadership Newspaper
Amb. Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen
Comrade Orobosa Omo-Ojo
Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe
Rt. Hon. Samson Osagie
Rt. Hon. Ifaluyi Isibor
Mr. Sam Loco Efe (Late)
Dr. Frederick Ogbeide
Engr. Joseph Uwurioya
The annual program holds every last Saturday of the year or three days before the New Year in case the New Year day falls on a Saturday.