Prince Tsola Emiko was yesterday crowned as the 21st Olu of Warri at Ode-Itsekiri in Warri South local government area of Delta State.
His coronation followed the completion of traditional rites in line with Itsekiri tradition.
He will now be addressed and called His Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse lll. The name is after his father, Atuwatse ll, who reigned from 1987 to 2015.
Many dignitaries were at Ode-Itsekiri to witness the coronation ceremony.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was represented by the minister of state for labour and employment, Chief Festus Keyamo. Deputy president of the senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State were at the venue.
Also present were top traditional rulers from across the country led by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, jájá II, former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, NFF president, Mr Amaju Pinnick and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase.
Commercial activities in Itsekiri dominated areas of Warri were shut to honour the coronation.
The Itsekiri monarch was crowned at Ode-Itsekiri, the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people.
Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA), Warri Naval Base were seen patrolling the waters with their gunboats.
The police were on ground with sister security agencies controlling traffic and providing security along the busy Warri-Sapele Road.
Thousands of Itsekiri people and guests from across the world trooped to various jetties to get to the venue of the ceremony in Ode-Itsekiri. As early as 6:30am the various jetties meant to convey guests to the venue were already filled to capacity.
Transporters were seen plying their trades but shops were not open for business while serious traffic gridlocks were observed in major roads in the city.
Commuters groaned over their inability to get transportation to various destinations.
Thousands of Itsekiri people early in the morning gathered at the Warri Boat Yard, Warri Club, Uwangue Waterside and Ifiekporo Waterside awaiting the Olu-designate to appear for a boat regatta along the Warri rivers and a journey to Ode-Itsekiri where his coronation held.
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated all Itsekiris home and abroad, on the coronation.
The president in a congratulatory message issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Friday in Abuja saluted the kingdom for overcoming the issues that arose after the initial appointment of the Olu-designate.
He pleaded that any other outstanding matter be amicably resolved in the interest of peace and tranquility in the kingdom.
Born on April 2, 1984 to the then Prince Godwin Toritseju Emiko who later became the 20th Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II and Gladys Durorike Emiko in Warri, the new monarch is a descendant of Olu Akengbuwa.
He attended the NNPC Primary School in Warri for his primary education and later Adesoye College in Offa, Kwara State for his secondary education between 1995 and 2001.
From there, he proceeded to Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio in the United States where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree between 2002 and 2006, majoring in International Studies and Political Science with a minor in History and Economics.
In 2007, he earned a Master’s degree in management from the same university.
The Olu is an avid sportsman, having participated in different sports including swimming, kayaks, basketball, American football, and soccer.
Following his return to Nigeria in 2008, he served in the Public Affairs Department of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.
Thereafter, he worked as an officer at the Shell Nigeria Closed Pension Fund Administrator and later at Sahara Energy as a Government Relations Officer between 2010 and 2012.
As an entrepreneur, he founded the Noble Nigeria Limited and Coral Curator limited.
He is also the chairman of Ocean Marine Security Limited, as well as a director in Gulf of Guinea Limited and Vessel Link Big Limited, among others.
The monarch is married to Ivie Uhunoma Emiko, daughter of Edo business mogul, Idahosa Okunbo, and they are blessed with three children.