Three days after the Ginuwa I Ruling House of Itsekiri Kingdom announced the suspension of the Ologbotsere of Warri, Chief Ayiri Emami, from the Council of Chiefs and Olu’s Advisory Council, Emami on Friday broke his silence, saying he still remains the Ologbotsere.
The Regent of Warri Kingdom, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, had on Tuesday at a press conference held in the courtyard of the Olu of Warri royal palace announced Emami’s suspension as the Ologbotsere and appointed the Iyatsere as the acting chairman of the Council of Chiefs and the Olu’s Advisory Council.
Okotie-Eboh said Iyatsere was next in command, and “in fact, the most senior chief who accompanied Ginuwa I from Benin to found the Warri Kingdom.”
The Ruling house ordered Emami to “immediately step aside as the Ologbotsere and stop parading himself as such” while urging the Iyatsere to take over immediately and steer the remainder of the process to give Warri Kingdom an “organised, speedy closure.”
The ruling house specifically accused Emami of unilaterally taking an irrational decision by declaring the disqualification of “a popular contender,” Prince Tsola Emiko, to the vacant stool of the Olu of Warri, “who had been unanimously nominated as the most qualified person to sit on the throne at this time by the bonafide members of the ruling house.”
By that singular action, the Ginuwa I Ruling House, the only ruling house in the land, accused Emami of having exhibited actions and tendencies unbecoming of the position he occupies, and “having proven himself unworthy of the Ologbotsere stool.”
According to the ruling house, the issues at stake are “serious traditional and spiritual matters, not meant for people without any strength of character, nor the mental capacity.”
The ruling house insisted that the Governing Edict does not give the Ologbotsere and the Olu’s Advisory Council such powers whatsoever to disqualify any candidate presented to them by the ruling house, insisting that the Ologbotsere and the council’s only prescribed function is to summon the elders and senior officials of the ruling house, and in the presence of the Regent, consult the Ifa Oracle one last time.
While expressing worry that “this singular action of disqualification is now threatening the relative peace in Warri Kingdom and almost tearing apart the very fabric of our existence,” the ruling house reiterated its loyalty “to the Crown.”
However, Emami stated in a press release on Friday that he remained the Ologbotsere, adding that “it is the prerogative of the Ologbostere Of Warri Kingdom to call for the General Assembly of the Itsekiri nation.”
Emami urged the public to disregard the announcement that a General Assembly of Itsekiri nation was in the offing, insisting that “the Ologbostere of Warri kingdom has not summoned any general assembly of the Itsekiri nation at Ode-Itsekiri in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State or any other venue for now.”
The statement read in part, “Information reaching me is that some unscrupulous elements, who want to cause confusion in our dear Warri Kingdom, are making frantic efforts to call for a General Assembly.
“Let it be known that by virtue of the declaration BDSL 147 pursuant to the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of 1979, which guides the procedure for selection to the succession throne of the Olu of Warri, when an Olu is indisposed, it is only the Ologbostere that has the power to summon the General Assembly of the Itsekiri nation. Any action taken by any other person(s) is in confrontation with the edict.”
Emami called on security agencies to hold any person that goes contrary to law to avert a breach of the peace in Warri Kingdom.