Drama as Ayiri Emami insist Olu of Warri is not dead - despite Presidency congratulating his 'successor'

Despite the appointment of a designate, the
Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, has once again been declared to be alive.

Ikenwoli, the 20th Olu Of Warri, was in December 2020 reported to have died from COVID-19 complications, one week after his fifth coronation anniversary.

But the palace had then denied his death, saying the monarch was indisposed and receiving medical care.

The on Easter Monday, April 5, 2021, Johnson Atserunreleghe, a palace official, announced the death of Ikenwoli, the king of the cosmopolitan town in Delta State.

Atserunreleghe said the town will go into a period of mourning for a period of three months.

He also announced Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko as the new Olu of Warri designate.
Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko (right)
Emiko was born on April 2, 1984, to Godwin Toritseju Emiko, the late Ogiame Atuwatse II, and Gladys Durorike Emiko in Warri.

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, had issued a statement on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, congratulating Emiko as the new Olu.

However, on Wednesday, April 7, Ayiri Emami, Ologbotsere of Warri kingdom, released a statement saying Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, is not yet dead.
Ayiri Emami
Emami, who is the chairman of Warri Council of Chiefs, said he has not convened an assembly to make such an announcement, adding that the domain is yet to have a new king.

“I want to state categorically clear as before that Olu of Warri, His Royal Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli, has not joined his ancestor as being alleged. I have not convened any general assembly of the people as tradition demands to state the contrary,” he said.

“So if His Royal Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli has not joined his ancestor, where does Olu-designate evolve from?”

Emani said anyone trying to use the name of the president “to draw ethnic and political colouration to the Olu throne issue should be wary of the danger of such actions”.

“Mr. President that I know will not delve into the customary issue of any ethnic group more so when there appears to be unsettled customary discrepancies and contentions. President Muhammadu Buhari that I know does not involve in illegality,” he said.

“It has not come to when he will formally join the rest of the world to mourn and congratulate us.

“We are Itsekiri people and not any other tribe. We will not allow outsiders to come and dictate for us. We have our customs and traditions and the Nigerian constitution evolves from the peoples’ norm, values and tradition.

“I will formally issue a statement on this and will formally brief Mr. President of our tradition at a later date.”

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