BY PATRICK OCHOGA, Benin City
Peace appears to be in sight as the traditional Prime Minister of Warri Kingdom, Chief Ayiri Emami and the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Johnson Atserunleghe, on Wednesday met at the Zone 5 headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, Benin City, Edo State.
The development was apparently towars finding a lasting peace after the emergence of Prince Tsola Emiko as the Olu of Warri-designate.
The Police had last week questioned Chief Emami for several hours over the alleged invasion of the palace of the Olu of Warri where it was reported that a 400-year-old crown and the symbol of the Itsekiri monarchy were declared missing.
Recall that the demise of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli (Atuwatse II), in December, 2020, had created a succession tussle which eventually produced Prince Tsola Emiko as the chosen Olu-elect (Omoba) in Warri, Delta State.
The two senior Warri chiefs spent close to four hours at the zonal police headquarters but they, however, declined to speak to journalists after emerging from the meeting.
Sources privy to the details of the meeting, however, said both parties were working assiduously in ensuring that peace return to the Warri Kingdom.
It could also be recalled that Emami had last week told journalists after the police questioning, that he was “invited based on the incident in Warri and it happens to be the invasion of the Olu palace” and that was why he was invited by the Police in Benin City, adding that he told them he knew nothing about the palace invasion incident because he was not in town when it happened.
“It is about that laid down procedure, which is one of the reasons why I am here and I have told the police. The police have questioned me on that issue, what led to the invasion, I have answered that and other issues I can’t divulge,” he had added.
Alluding to his interest in ensuring peace return to Warri, Emami had stated that, “The person in question (Olu designate) is my brother. He is my friend. So, I have no personal issue when you say Ayiri is not in support. Whatever we are doing as Itsekiri, there are laid down procedure and that is what I am trying to do, so it is not that I am not in support in whatever they are doing.
“I am not the one that reported this issue here, they reported and I have been invited and I came here and I have made my statement, so it is left for the police to act, not me. I don’t have any issue with anybody, it is not about Ayiri, it is about the people of Warri Kingdom, if they are happy, I am happy, that is why I am the custodian.
“I don’t have any personal issues against anybody, if they feel they are happy, mine is to keep the heritage and that is what I stand for but if they are happy about it, I am happy,” Emami had stated last week.