By Emeka Okafor
Chief Ayiri Emami, the Ologbotsere of Warri, has hinted of plans to brief President Muhammadu Buhari upon return from his London medical trip on the crisis rocking Itsekiri Nation over the succession battle to the Olu of Warri throne.
Prince Tsola Emiko was on Monday announced as the Olu of Warri-designate at Ode-Itsekiri, the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people in Delta State.
Following the emergence of Prince Emiko as the 21st Olu, President Buhari through a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) congratulated the new monarch, urging aggrieved persons to resolve every grievance through civil process.
But Ologbotsere reacting to the statement, said he would brief Mr President on his return, saying that he was confidence that Buhari will not support illegality.
Ayrir insisted that those parading Prince Tsola Emiko, son of the late Ogiame Atuwatse II as Olu-designate, have no clue about the customary laws, norm and tradition of the Itsekiri people.
“I will formally issue a statement on this and will formally brief Mr. President on our tradition in a later date”, he said.
He noted that the process producing a new of Olu was not followed especially the edict that produced the last three Itsekiri traditional rulers.
“My attention has just been drawn to a publication credited to Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, (Media and Publicity) entitled; “President Buhari Greets Itsekiri Nation on Olu-Designate, Mourn Departed Monarch” on Tuesday.
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“And 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 conveyed any General Assembly of the people as tradition demands to state the contrary. So, if His Royal Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli has not joined his ancestor, where does Olu-Designate evolve from.
“Mr. President that I know will not delve into the customary issue of any ethnic group moreso when there appears to be unsettled customary discrepancies and contentions. President Muhammadu Buhari that I know does not involve in illegality. It has not come to when he will formally join the rest of the world to mourn and congratulate us.
“Anyone who want to use President Buhari’s name to draw ethnic and political colouration to the Olu throne issue should be wary of the danger of such actions. 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”, he added.
The Itsekiri Nation has been enmeshed in crisis since process for the selection of a successor for the demise of Ogiame Ikenwoli who passed on December last year was initiated.
The crisis has also led to the controversial suspension of Chief Ayiri as Ologbotsere by a section of the royal family while another section of the royal family denouncing Ayiri’s suspension as the Olu remains the only person that can suspend and appoint Ologbotsere.