The last has not be heard about the crisis rocking the Olu of Warri throne as Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom and Chairman of Olu Advisory Council, Chief Ayirimi Emami, on Saturday, vowed to right the wrongs done to the Olu throne using every available legal means.
Emami stated this on Saturday at his Warri private palace while offering prayers to sons and daughters of Ologbotsere descendants and others who thronged his residence in solidarity over the unabated secession crisis rocking the Olu throne and the Itsekiri nation.
The Ologbotsere explained he is seeking the interpretation of the controversial 1979 edict in court to attain his rightful place in the traditional administration of the kingdom.
Recalls the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Johnson Amatserunleghe, had in April unveiled Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko, son to Ogiame Atuwaste II and 19th Olu of Warri, as Omoba, Olu-designate.
The development which came following the passage of the 20th Olu, Ogiame Ikenwoli, had been greeted by controversies fuelled by purported suspension of the Ologbotsere as chairman, Olu Advisory Council and Traditional Council of Chiefs by the Ginuwa I Ruling House.
But Emami who spoke in his native Itsekiri dialect on Saturday while addressing the crowd of people who thronged his residence, said that he’s out to formally briefed his people that he has taken steps to correct the abnormally done to the throne with the view to preserve the customs and traditions of Itsekiri land.
According to him, the issues surrounding the Olu stool are unifying factor for Itsekiris.
“We know that there have been a lot of turbulence in Itsekiri land, so today, I decided that all sons and daughters of Itsekiriland should come for adequate prayers for our people.
“I equally use this medium to alert them that I have taken some steps for the wrongdoing and undoing of the Ologbotsere of Warri kingdom. It is very straight, after the Olu, it is the Ologbotsere. But I have not been talking.
“I have moved to court for the court to interprete the edict. My position is to uphold whatever law Itsekiri has. You cannot stand in my presence and want to destroy the custom and tradition of Itsekiri.
“I don’t want to go into fighting, I don’t want to take laws into my hands. Itsekiris are known for peace. The only thing I can do is follow law and order. I have to do the needful. I am not the creator of the edict, neither was my father.
“A lot of people are ignorant. Our kingdom has been in existence before 1979 and if they say it (edict) came into being in 1979, it was only amended in 1979.
“So when they get to court, we would know whether it came into being or it is a piece of paper, the way some of them claim.”
The Ologbotsere called for calm across Iwereland, stressing: “We will do the needful. And within a short time we will announce what I am going to do by the power vested on me by the edict”.
While addressing hundreds of Itsekiris present at the ceremony, he stated he did nothing “bad” against what is being insinuated in the streets.
Expressing gratitude to the people, he disclosed that despite protests against his Ologbotsere candidature in 2017, the late Ogiame Ikenwoli saw his commitment to the kingdom and gave him the title.
He added: “Whatever Itsekiri decides is where I stand. People should not go and lie against the Ologbotsere. Nobody will take Itsekiri backward. We will follow the way it is done.
“If there is no Olu, I am next. I am the next to speak. Some persons want to rewrite history. I want to go to court to ask if Iyatsere can be next. I also want to ask if the Princes can sack a chief”.
According to him, in the hierarchy of the chiefs in Warri Kingdom, he was next to the Olu and only one recognize to carry out actions that are bound to be carried out by the Ologbotsere.
He said that he decided to stay calm all this while in order not to engineer disturbance to law and order and anarchy in Itsekiriland.
Addressing the mammoth crowd earlier, Chief Emami said, “I Am so happy to see all of you. I didn’t know that I can see this crowd in my house because the way they talk outside, you will think I did something bad. But I didn’t do anything bad.
“The first title they gave me was foundation. Baba Atuwatse gave me the title. He told me to build the kingdom with him but not to destroy. He gave me the title that has the nick name Akulagba. I didn’t go to Baba Ikenwoli to beg for the title. Ikenwoli now gave me the title Ologbotsere. Some people protested but he gave me because of the commitment he saw in me to Itsekiri nation.
“If there is no Olu, I am next. I am the next to speak. Some persons want to rewrite history. I want to go to court to ask if Iyatsere can be next. I also want to ask if the Princes can sack a Chief. Ologbotsere descendants you people should not fight o.
“In this my time it will be peaceful in Itsekiri. Let it be well with all the Princes, Chiefs and all that want peace and progress in Itsekiri. I thank you all.
Emami who spoke to journalists about the essence of the gathering, said, “As you know, as the Ologbotsere every market day I normally pray for all sons and daughters of Ologbotsere descendants and Itsekiris at large. So today I called the meeting for them to come for adequate prayers for our people because there has been turbulence for some time now in Itsekiri nation.
“I also called this meeting to use this medium to alert them that I have taken some steps to right the undoing of Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom vis a vis the Olu throne. In Warri Kingdom, it is very straight, after the Olu, it is the Ologbotsere but I have not be talking and I don’t want to talk today but I have taken steps legally to right the wrongs”, he added.
Chief Emami had approached a Warri High Court to challenge his alleged suspension by a section of the Ginuwa I Ruling House as well as the process that led to the selection of Prince Tsola Emiko as Olu designate.
A writ of summons with suit number W/128/2021 dated July 8, 2021, has Chief Emami as claimant while Chief Akoma Dudu Dimeyin (Olori-Ebi of Ginuwas Ruling House), Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh (Olori-Ebi of Ginuwa l Ruling House) and Chief Johnson Amatserunleghe (Iyatsere of Warri) as defendants.
The Ologbotsere is seeking “an order of interlocutory injunction restrain ING the defendants either by themselves agents, privies and/or whomsoever from crowning any person as the Olu of Warri kingdom pending the hearing and determination of this suit.
“An order retraining the defendants either by themselves, agents, privies and by whomsoever from using anybody, particularly the 3rd defendant (Iyatsere) or the Uwangue or any other traditional Chief of Warri kingdom to crown any person as the Olu of the Warri Kingdom against the provision of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of 1979, pending the hearing and determination of this suit”.