In a retraction signed by the Secretary to State Government, Julius Ihonvbere, dated May 25, 2016, the government said: “In deference to the revered age-long tradition and respect for the sensibilities of the people of the great Benin Kingdom, the Government of Edo State hereby withdraws a letter issued on 24th May 2016 entitled: “Appointment of His Royal Highness Edaiken N’Uselu, Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa as the Oba of Benin”
“The said letter was issued in error as the rites of passage of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba of Benin are still on.
“The government will, in due course, issue a fresh letter on the installation of the Edaiken N’Uselu, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, as the Oba of Benin, in line with the age-long succession tradition of the Benin Kingdom and in line with Section 19 (1) of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law, 1979 (as amended) and by virtue of all other laws enabling it in that behalf, after all necessary traditional rites are concluded.”
Mr. Ihonvebere had on Tuesday circulated a letter approving the appointment of Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa as the Oba of Benin, with effect from April 29, 2016.
In the letter dated May 24, Mr. Ihonvbere, had said, “It is hereby notified for general information that in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 19 (1) of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law, 1979 (as amended) and by virtue of all other laws enabling it in that behalf, the Executive Council of the Edo State Government of Nigeria has approved the appointment of His Royal Highness Edaiken N’Uselu, Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa as the Oba of Benin, with effect from 29th day of April, 2016.”
The palace of the Oba announced the death of Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Erediauwa on April 29 even though it is believed by many Nigerians that he passed on long before the formal announcement.
Oba Erediauwa, who ascended the throne in 1979, was 92.
Crown Prince Eheneden was formally installed as the Edaiken of Uselu, the heir apparent to the throne on March 7, 2015.