At the demise of his father in exile in 1914, his accession was challenged and became a matter of debate. But for the wise judgment of the British Officials, on the strong evidence of some Benin Chiefs, the table would have turned in favour of Chief Agho Ogbedeoyo, the Obaseki of Benin, who had acted for the Oba during the Interregnum, 1897-1914. If this was the case, Oba Akenzua II would have terribly missed the crown.
While still with the Chief he was sent to the Benin Government School under the headmastership of late Mr. Okai a Ghanaian in 1907. He passed the then Standard Six in 1915. In 1918 he proceeded to king’s College, Lagos, where he studied and passed the then Junior Cambridge examination in 1921. Which was the highest class attanable then in the college? Among his classmates at king’s College were the late Bishop A.W. Howells, Justice R. Ade Doherty and Dr Samuel Manuwa. His tutors included Mr. Earnest Ikoli and Mr. Charles James Smart who became a popular letter writer in Benin City before his death in 1966.
Apart from his Western Education, he was very vast in the knowledge of Benin tradition, customs and culture. He was trained in Royalty obligations art of administration and component of an Oba. All these contributed immensely to his qualities, wisdom, virtue and forthrightness in his rule in the years of his reign.
On his return from the college, he was appointed a transport clerk in the Benin Native Administration, and later transferred to his father’s palace as the Oba’s confidential secretary, in these posts; he acquired more knowledge of administration and human relationship.
“I welcome the Oba-elect to the seat of his father, and of his fore fathers. I wish him well and i ask him to trust me and to heed what i am going to say. I am anxious-almost above all things in Nigeria to make a success of the policy of administering the people through their own chiefs, but my experience here and elsewhere make me doubt whether it will be possible to achieve this if we pursue the methods of the past. No sufficient attempt has been made in the past, I believe to teach and train the Chiefs in the very difficult “Art of Administration”. That is not our policy in the case of Administrative Officer. We train him in England before he came to the country at all, and we train him through many years before he is place in such a responsible position as that of resident.
In 1934 the Oba attended the opening ceremony of the Yaba Higher College Lagos. He was accorded rousing royal reception by the Edo Community in Lagos in particular and all sundries in Lagos and environs. On his return journey, he called at Abeokuta to pay a courtesy visit to the Alake of Abeokuta, Oba Ademola II
On the 5th of February, 1956, Queen Elizabeth II of England visited Nigeria and had a stopover at the Benin Airport where she was received by Oba Akenzua II, the Resident and other dignitaries from all over the kingdom
He had courage ability and patience to surmount all trials and intrigues of his reign. He worked relentlessly to find solutions between the British rule and culture of his people. He was forceful and dynamic in the advancement plans for the welfare of the nation.
To keep perpetual the knowledge and his of the past of his people from which posterity could learn and draw inspiration from our past history and culture, the Oba initiated the establishment of the Benin Museum under Chief Jacob U.Egharevba as the curator. To the Museum, he contributed generously and in no small measure several antiquities. Many people of goodwill also donated to growth of the Museum. The Federal Government has taken over the management of the museum under trained curators and under the Department of Antiquities. A befitting building in the heart of the City has been created to house the museum, officially opened to the public on August 10, 1973.