BY SOLA ADEBAYO, Warri
Fresh crisis is brewing in Warri, Delta State, following the emergence of a “second Olu of Warri-designate”, Prince Oyowoli Gbesimi Emiko.
The development climaxed months of succession crisis following the demise of the 20th Warri monarch, Ogiame Ikenwoli, in December 2020.
Prince Oyowoli Emiko is the first son of the immediate past monarch.
Oyowoli’s first cousin and son of the 19th Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse, Prince Tsola Emiko, who was being promoted by a section of the ruling house, Ginuwa 1 Ruling House, had almost concluded the processes leading to his coronation as the 21st Olu of Warri, before the latest incident.
The coronation and presentation of the staff of office to Prince Tsola Emiko has been slated for August 21, amidst litigations challenging his emergence as Olu of Warri-designate by the Ologbotsere of Warri, Chief Ayiri Emami and Prince Oyowoli Emiko.
LEADERSHIP Friday learnt that Prince Tsola Emiko had performed Idaniken (seclusion) and other traditional rites in readiness for his installation.
It was gathered that Prince Oyowoli Emiko had also commenced his seclusion and other traditional rites at an undisclosed location, in preparation for his coronation. His pictures, decked in Idaniken attire, appeared in the public domain on Wednesday evening.
However, details about his activities were sketchy. While his whereabouts were not made public.
The Ginuwa Ruling House had been polarised into two factions following the death of Ogiame Ikenwoli. A faction of the ruling house, led by Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, who was later appointed as the regent had recommended Prince Tsola Emiko as the successor to Ogiame Ikenwoli while the second faction led by Pa Akoma Dudun, recommended Prince Oyowoli Emiko, to succeed his father.
Pa Dudun in a letter to the Ologbotsere dated February 19, 2021, had said, “After several meetings of the Ginuwa 1 Ruling House, it was unanimously agreed that Oyowoli Ikenwoli Gbesimi Emiko, being the first son of the demised Olu of Warri is selected in accordance to the declaration (Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict 1979).”
The controversy over the application of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict, 1979, being the customary law regulating succession to the title of the Olu of Warri, sparked the succession crisis.
Emami, who is next in command to the Itsekiri monarch, had insisted that the emergence of Prince Tsola Emiko, was faulty, arguing that it was not in conformity with the controversial edict.
His uncompromising posture led to his suspension as Ologbotsere by the members of the royal family loyal to Prince Tsola Emiko.
Emami and Prince Oyowoli Ikenwoli had initiated legal actions to stop the coronation of Prince Tsola Emiko at Delta State High Courts.
The legal fireworks of the succession crisis would resume on August 3 and August 5, 2021 at separate courts in Asaba and Warri, respectively.
Peace moves by two former governors of the state, Chief James Ibori and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and other prominent citizens, were futile.