OKOROHOHI MICHAEL; SUNDAY APAH; KELVIN ONYEKACHUKWU
The Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Ayirimi Emami, has dismissed the unveiling of Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko on Monday as successor to Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, insisting the revered Warri monarch has not joined his ancestors.
Chief Emami, spoke in reaction to the announcement by the Iyatsere of Warri, Chief Johnson Atserunleghe at Ode-Itsekiri in Warri South Local Government Area, where Chief Atserunleghe declared that Prince Tsola Emiko is the successor to Ogiame Ikenwoli, the Olu of Warri.
He declared: “The Olu has not joined his ancestors. As far as I am concerned, whatever was done today at Ode-Itsekiri was kangaroo in search of power. The person that has the right to pronounce the transition of the Olu of Warri, whenever that happens, is the Ologbotsere, which I am till this moment by the grace of God. I must add that the 1979 edict has not been amended to give any other person the right to pronounce the passage of the Olu of Warri, apart from the Ologbotsere”.
Earlier, the Itsekiri National Assembly announced the passage to eternal glory of His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, the Olu of Warri.
The Assembly also introduced the Olu-designate, Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko.
The announcement was made on Monday at Ode-Itsekiri (Big Warri), Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Chief Johnson Atserunleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, made the announcement by symbolically breaking three earthen (native) pots containing white native chalks, one after the other on the floor and announcing, ‘Ale-jefun-oooh’ after each occasion.
Twenty cannon shots were fired to announce the departure of His Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli, signifying that twenty Olus had reigned over Iwere land so far.
The Iyatsere also announced a mourning period of three lunar months throughout the Itsekiri nation.
During the mourning period, there shall be no dancing of any kind anywhere in Iwere land; there shall be no merry-making of any kind anywhere in Iwere land, and there shall be no drumming of any kind anywhere in Iwere land.
All Itsekiri sons and daughters must tie their wrappers upside down for the duration of the mourning period.
At exactly 11.52a.m, the Iyatsere announced the new Olu-designate, Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko, and presented the Omoba to the Itsekiri nation.
Shouts of joy rented the air.
However, Ologbotsere of Warri, Chief Ayiri Emami, has dismissed the emergence of a new Olu of Warri, saying the announcement of Prince Tsola Emiko as Omoba (Olu-Designate) was illegal.
Ayiri, while calling for calm among Itsekiri people and concerned Nigerians, noted that the revered Olu stool was not for the highest bidder.
He stated that of the seven kingmakers in the kingdom only two of the kingmakers were present at the ceremony held at Ode-Itsekiri, the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people in Delta State.
The Ologbotsere said: “I don’t support illegality. You don’t buy Itsekiri customs and tradition.
“The throne comes to you. I’m not part of what is going on there. That’s illegality, and that’s why I am not there.
“Out of seven, it’s only two kingmakers that were there. I am urging Itsekiris and, indeed, all Nigerians to remain calm.
“Itsekiri will announce their king when the time comes. Emami as the Ologbotsere of Warri will never support illegality in any form.”
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