Benin City is a city (2006 est. pop. 1,147,188) and the capital of Edo State in southern Nigeria. It is a city approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of the Benin River. It is situated 320 kilometres (200 mi) by road east of Lagos. Benin is the centre of Nigeria's rubber industry, but processing palm nuts for oil is also an important traditional industry.
The original people and founders of the Benin Empire, the Edo people, were initially ruled by the Ogiso (Kings of the Sky) dynasty who called their land Igodomigodo. The rulers or kings were commonly known as Ogiso. Igodo, the first Ogiso, wielded much influence and gained popularity as a good ruler. He died after a long reign and was succeeded by Ere, his eldest son. In the 12th century, a great palace intrigue and battle for power erupted between the warrior crown prince Ekaladerhan son of the last Ogiso and his young paternal uncle. In anger over an oracle, Prince Ekaladerhan left the royal court with his warriors. When his old father the Ogiso died, the Ogiso dynasty was ended as the people and royal kingmakers preferred their king's son as natural next in line to rule.