The Chief Priest of Holy Aruosa Cathedral in Benin city, Edo state, Ohen-Osa Harrison Okao, has opened up on how things are run in the church, where the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, is the spiritual head.

The priest revealed that Benin people prayed before the church was formed by Oba Esigie in 1517, by opening their hands and looking up to the sky with the mindset that God is up.

He said that the church does not do juju or pray through anybody but the members pray directly to God.

He also revealed that the presiding head of the church known as ‘Ohen Osa’ (God’s servant) is only picked by God but approved by the Oba of Benin himself.

The priest said that the Oba of Benin is the spiritual head (general overseer) of the Church. His deputy is the Benin Crown Prince. A special seat is reserved for the Oba at the church.

The priests dress like the Roman Catholic priests and usually wear red caps. The Holy Bible is also not used in the church but the book of Holy Arousa.

Harrison Okao said: “We use our local language to communicate with our God. We are aware of other diverse ways of reaching God. If you are a good Muslim, God will accept you. If you are a good Christian, God will accept you.

“We don’t use the Bible here. We have our own book. We use the book of Holy Arousa according to the sayings of the ancient belief written by the wise men. The church is still in existence till today, it is an entity that will last forever. Nothing can stop it.”

“A professional doctor does not need sign board. Oba is a special human being. He is God’s representative on earth. The seat that concerns Omon N’ Oba, nobody can sit on it. That seat is exclusively preserved for him.”

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