Daniel Oronsaye

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Daniel Nabulele Oronsaye was a Nigerian politician and author whose book 'The History of Ancient Benin Kingdom and Empire' used unconventional methods of divination and traditional priests to arrive at some contentious points that the Benin people from the earliest of times migrated from Egypt and Thebes. He also supports some local Benin historians on the foundation of the Eweka dynasty as it relates to the last Ogiso's heir, Ekaladerhan who was banished and later reached Ile-Ife where be became Imadoduwa (Oduduwa), the Oni of Ife. Ekaladerhan was asked to return to become the king of Benin but instead sent his son (Oramiyan), the son engaged in a fruitful relationship with a Benin woman who bore a son that founded the Eweka dynasty. (1)


Oronsaye was born 31st August, 1914, to Simeon Obaraye Oronsaye of Iguogbe village; his father passed on leaving the young Oronsaye to fend for his mother, elder sister and other siblings in 1928 at age 14. He grew up, seeing himself through school into a responsible adult. He was a one time Odiowere of the Iguogbe village and the Olokun priest. He had his early education at the Holy Cross Catholic School, Benin, the St Thomas Training college, Ibusa and later went to the Institute of Education, London from 1951-1952. He was also an external student of the University of London where he received his B.Sc. in Economics. Oronsaye started work as a teacher in Catholic schools including, St. Patrick's College Asaba, Immaculate Conception College Benin and later became principal of the Niger College, Benin. In 1952, he was appointed the pioneer principal of the Provincial Teachers Training College, Abudu, where he served till his retirement from active service in 1972.

Oronsaye served as the local chairman of the Benin Action Group in 1951 and was once the financial secretary of the Edo National Union. In recognition of his immense contributions to the development of the Midwestern State (as it then was) and the country Nigeria, the Benin Monarch, Oba Akenzua II appointed him the Osayuwanoba of Benin Kingdom and a member of the eghaevbonore group of chiefs in 1963.

He represented Benin East in the House of Representatives during the first republic and moved the motion stopping inhumane treatment of prison inmates. He was also a one time Junior Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


  • (1)Axel Harneit-Sievers. A Place in the World: New Local Historiographies from Africa and South Asia. p 125-128

Cateogory:Nigerian House of Representatives