By Moses Olafare
The new Olu, Ogiame Atuwatse III, was crowned as the 21st Olu of Warri on Saturday at Ode-Itsekiri, ancestral home of the Itsekiri. .
Having been called upon to speak on behalf of all the Nigerian traditional rulers in his capacity as the natural head of Oduduwa Race worldwide and Co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NYCN) to bless the new Olu of Warri and welcome him into the fold, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife, described the event as a red-letter day in the Itsekiri Kingdom and in the Oduduwa nation at large.
“The entire Oduduwa Race was elated about your emergence as the Olu of Warri. We are indeed happy and excited with this development.
“We the traditional rulers in Nigeria are all very delighted to welcome you on board as one of our brother kings,
“You can feel the energy in the air in Itsekiri Kingdom, you are loved by your people. I want to appeal to you, you are the father of the entire Itsekiri Kingdom now. You are the father to the good, you are the father to the bad, and you are the father to the ugly. You have to embrace the entire kingdom of Warri, extend a hand of fellowship to all and sundry, make sure that your leadership is a fatherly leadership.
“For today, God almighty and the spirit of our ancestors will continue to guide you, guard you, and lead you right in all the decisions you will be making on this throne of your forebears. We love and we appreciate and we will work with you.” Ooni said.
The representatives of the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II said “We all know what happened there when the Omo N’Oba prayed in the inner chambers of the palace. Omo N’Oba says you are going to live long. Omo N’Oba says your reign shall be peaceful. Omo N’Oba wishes you very well.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie OmoAgege, said he was hopeful the reign of the monarch would witness progress, peace and development in the kingdom.
Omo-Agege, whose mother is Itsekiri, later gave his own goodwill message, assuring that he will continue to support the monarch , adding that he should see him as one of his senators in the National Assembly.
Prominent Nigerian traditional rulers that graced the coronation occasion on Saturday at Ode Itsekiri include, Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife, Olowo of Owo kingdom, HRM, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye, Ohinoyi of Ebira land, HRM, Alhaji Dr Abdul Rahman Ado Ibrahim, the Oore of Otun-Ekiti, HRM, Oba Adekunle Adeagbo, the Akarigbo of Remo, HRM, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, the Olubosin of Ifetedo, HRM, Oba Akinola Akinrera and others.
Obasanjo on Sunday during the Thanksgiving Service at the palace Chapel urged the new Olu of Warri to unite his people, utilise the wisdom of elders and stay close to God in all his dealings.
“Two things must guide you: one, do not shun the experience and advice of elders, it is useful.
Experience is wisdom, make use of the experience of people around you. Secondly, be very close to God.
You must diligently perform the task God had entrusted to you as this position was given to you by God.
Please note that “His Majesty” carried a lot of responsibilities and I urge you not to shun the experience and advice of the elders.” Obasanjo said.
Also In his speech during the Thanksgiving, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta urged the new Itsekiri monarch to extend the olive branch to any aggrieved Itsekiri.
“I am aware a lot of healing processes are ongoing.
It is time for healing; ensure the entirety of the kingdom comes together. Whether stubborn or not, extend the olive branch to them.
You have a lot of work to do in Nigeria. We cannot afford any distraction at home, so that the larger nation will have your presence in the nation-building.” Okowa said.
His Majesty, Ogiame Tsola Emiko, the 21st Olu of Warri, as a son of the 19th Olu of Warri, Atunwase the 2nd who reigned from 1987 and 2015. He is a bonafide descendant of Oduduwa king of Ile-Ife from whom he derived his princehood and royalty through the lineages of Oranmiyan, Eweka the first Oba of Benin and Omoba Ginuwa, a Prince of Benin who became the first Olu of Warri.
Olafare is the chief press secretary of the Ooni