Ologbotsere descendants insist on Warri kingship succession edict
*Warn: Except law is followed, whatever is done in respect of new Olu of Warri null and void
*Comrade Alex Eyengho, group’s spokesman talks to Palace Watch
On Thursday, May 27, 2021, Chief Johnson Amastserunleghe JP, the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, and Acting Chairman, Olu’s Advisory Council on the Rites of Passage of His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli and the Coronation of Omoba Tsola Emiko, addressed a press conference in the Olu of Warri Palace, where some proclamations were made.
Amastserunleghe said he made the declarations after due consultation with the Regent, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, the Ginuwa ruling house and the Olu-In-Council.
The Iyatsere said: “I believe some of you gentlemen of the press, were at Ode-Itsekiri, the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people on the 5th of April, 2021, when I made the formal proclamation of the painful passage of Ogiame Ikenwoli.
“You will recall that on that day, we also made a popular declaration of Omoba Tsola Emiko, as the successor to the throne.
“This was after a rigorous process, which included a painstaking search with and amongst the decedents of the last three Olus, as required by the tradition, custom and extant laws.
This process also included several consultations and eventual confirmation by the Ifa-Oracle, which is a sine qua non in the procedure for selecting successor to the revered stool of the Olu of Warri.
“I now wish to make the following authoritative proclamations:-
1-The burial of the late king, His Royal Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli will begin on Friday, June 18th with a commendation service here in Warri, to be followed by the traditional burial rites at Ode-Itsekiri, the next day, the 19th of June, 2021; burial activities will end on Friday, July 2nd – a duration of 14 days. This phase will also bring to a close the mourning period throughout Warri Kingdom.
2-Gentlemen, I will like to say at this juncture, that the hands of history are upon our shoulders here today; it is my singular honour, esteemed distinction and unique privilege, to on behalf of the Warri Council of Kingmakers, that the Omoba Tsola Emiko will be crowned and formally installed as the 21st Olu of Warri, on Saturday the 21st day of August, 2021 by the grace of God.
3-This will be done at a colourful ceremony in Ode-Itsekiri, beginning with a boat regatta here in Warri.”
However, Comrade Alex Eyengho, who introduced himself as the spokesperson of the Ologbotsere descendants of Warri Kingdom told Palace Watch that it was about time their position on this burning matter be put on record.
He remarked: “Chief Ayiri Emami the Ologbotsere and the most senior chief in Warri kingdom and the entire Ologbotsere descendants of Warri are not against the selection or emergence of Omoba Tsola Emiko as the new Olu-designate especially if his candidature is what the Itsekiri people want.
“But the Ologbotsere descendants will not tolerate or take kindly to any efforts or attempt by any person to deliberately usurp the role or positions of the Ologbotosere when he is still alive and kicking.
This is part of the reasons why Chief Ayiri Emami has not found it necessary to join issues with anybody on this matter so far. And we as a family have also agreed, we will not be dragged into any issue on this matter, no matter the provocation.
“The law guiding the announcement, burial rites of the late Olu of Warri, selection of a new Olu designate, and the installation or coronation of the Olu of Warri, is very clear and unambiguous.
For this process to be meaningful, there are rules that must be followed for it to be complete and for a new Olu of Warri to emerge.
The extant law, Chief Johnson Amastserunleghe, the Iyatsere claimed in his press statement, that he followed, is just ten paragraphs law in one single page.
The law expressly stipulates the role each Chief or individual must play or should perform for an Olu of Warri to be duly installed.
If I may ask you, have you read the edict in question? If yes, did the law say, that the Iyatsere is the legitimate, right and proper person to carry out the assignments he claimed to have performed?
If no, it means all what they claimed to have been doing all this while, amount to nothing but a nullity. As you might be aware, you can’t build on what you do not have. Why waste our time, with such people.
We are living in a lawful society where things work according to the laws of the land. We the Ologbotsere descendants are not lawless and we are not ready to glorify, who engages in all manner of illegality.
As far as we are concerned, we will continue to watch them, with time, they will come to their senses and the realization of the facts, that all what they have been engaged in and doing is not but illegality.”
Palace Watch now pointed out that before Chief Johnson Amastserunleghe assumed the position, as the acting Chairman, Olu of Warri Advisory Council, the Ginuwa ruling house allegedly suspended Chief Emami as the Ologbostere of Warri Kingdom.
Hence, he Chief Amastserunleghe as the number two Chief in rank, has to assume the role and positions he has so far been performing to date.
Eyengho: “we are not yet ready to join issues with anybody on the legality or illegality of what the Ginuwa ruling house did. With time, we shall get to that bridge and cross it. If I may ask, was it the Ginuwa ruling house that made Chief Ayiri Emami, the Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom?
It was the same day, His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, made Chief Emami, the Ologbotsere that he also appointed Chief Johnson Amastserunleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom. Are members of the Ginuwa ruling house now the Olu of Warri in Council?
It’s not in dispute that the late Olu of Warri who conferred the title of Ologbotsere on Chief Emami was a member of the Ginuwa ruling house, but once he was installed as the Olu of Warri, he becomes another entity entirely.
Immediately after his installation as the Olu of Warri, agreed that he still remains a brother to the Ginuwa ruling house, but by virtue of his position as the Olu of Warri, he now assumed the position of a father to the entire Itsekiri people and kingdom.
Whatever acts he performed while on the throne, cannot be linked or connected to the Ginuwa ruling house. People should simply know, when they are wasting their time.”
Palace Watch also gathered that a group of aggrieved persons of Benin extraction, who claimed that Ginuwa 1 was a Prince from the Benin Palace before leaving to become the Olu of Warri, have expressed disgust over what they described as the bastardazation of the Itsekiri rites of passage, and traditional methods of ascending the throne by some people whom they described as greedy and unfit to be kingmakers anywhere, much less in a decent place like the Itsekiri kingdom.
Some of these people who today claimed to be among the Itsekiri kingmakers, they alleged have criminal records.
They stress that “in a decent society like Warri Kingdom, a man whose hands are stained with innocent blood cannot be part of the selection not to talk of installation of an Olu of Warri. We will never allow this process or nonsense to stand.
A source said: “The aggrieved Benin people, according to the information gathered, have reached an advanced stage to go to court over the violation of the 1979 edict and the Benin customs and tradition once the incoming Olu of Warri is crowned.”
Source: The daily times