The people of Okhue-Esan Kingdom in Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State have asked the state government to withdraw the appointment letter given to Emmanuel Ehikioya, one of the claimants to the throne of Onogie of the community, Emmanuel Ehikioya.
The community, in an open letter to Governor Adams Oshiomhole and signed by the Oliha of Okhue-Esan and Chairman, Council of Chiefs, Deacon John Emhonyua; Secretary to the kingmakers, Chief Lucky Ighekpe and Chairman, Okhue-Esan Development Association, Chief Patrick Inerie, said the letter issued to Ehikioya by the state’s Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs must be withdrawn in the interest of justice, respect for value, custom and tradition of the people.
They stated that Ehikioya was not the person recommended to the Secretary to the Edo State Government by the kingmakers of Okhue-Esan Kingom, adding that, “the kingmakers, otherwise known as Okhue-Olenokhua, is the only body empowered by law (Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of 1979,B.S.L.N No.57) and the custom and tradition of Okhue-Esan people to clear, install and recommend Onogie to the government for recognition and appointment.”
According to the letter, “in Esan and Benin customs and tradition applicable to Okhue-Esan, no person can inherit a man’s title without performing the burial ceremonies. This fact is also contained in the Bendel State Traditional and Chiefs Edict of 1979 applicable to Edo State as a requirement for appointment as Onogie.”
The Odion-Egbe of the community, who has the responsibility of coordinating and supervising activities in burial ceremonies in the palace and the kingdom, also said Ehikioya did not perform the burial ceremonies of the late Onogie and was not in a position to do so.
The community explained further that the diversion of the appointment letter is being investigated by a committee of Esan traditional rulers, including the Onogie of Ekpoma, the Onogie of Ewu, the Onogie of Ogwa, the Onogie of Orowa and the Onogie of Uzea.
One of the traditional rulers, who spoke on the issue, said that the committee was yet to take a position on the matter due to the refusal of Ehikioya to honour invitations extended to him.