Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, displayed an uncommon wisdom leadership when he called on the people of Itsekiri kingdom to give the Olu-designate, Prince Tsola Emiko, their full support to bring about peaceful reign during his tenure.
The governor who had maintained silent on recent developments surrounding the death and succession process of announcing the Olu-designate which has generated some crisis, made the call when members of Olu Advisory Council paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Asaba to officially inform him of the passage of the late monarch and the selection of the Olu designate.
Conscious of the need for peace in the state, Okowa used the occasion to call on all aggrieved persons in the process of picking a new Olu to sheath their swords to ensure that everything was done peacefully and in unity in the overall interest of Itsekiri people.
Addressing the traditional chiefs led by the Iyatsere of Warri, Chief Johnson Atserungleghe, Gov Okowa urged the Olu Advisory Council to do its best to unite everyone and ensure that there was peace in Itsekiriland.
“I thank God that you have been able to arrive at a decision in the interest of the people on the choice of a new monarch.
“I pray to God to lead the Itsekiri nation through these trying times even as we work towards giving the departed king befitting burial rites and as we also look forward to the presentation of the new king.
“Please extend my congratulations to the new monarch and we assure him that our prayers are with him just as we pray that the Itsekiri nation will remain united.
“It is only when there is peace that we can have development not only in Warri but the entire Delta State,” Okowa stated.
Speaking of the relationship between the government and the immediate past Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, the governor said he was an epitome of peace who built bridges across ethnic divides in the country.
He described the late Olu as a promoter of peace who contributed immensely to promotion of peace and development in Itsekiriland and neighbouring ethnic nationalities in the state.
Consoling the Itsekiris over the passage of the Monarch, the governor said, “I want to truly condole with the whole of Itsekiri nation on the passing of Ogiame Ikenwoli, the king who believed in peace.
“He set out to visit other monarchs to establish partnership and friendship and these partnerships he built helped to improve on the peace in the state and helped to bring various kingdoms together.
“We thank God for the life of His Royal Majesty who has gone to the great beyond and I pray that the Itsekiri nation will continue to work for peace because he was an epitome of peace.
“We appreciate his conduct as a royal father who was always with us at state functions along with his colleagues. He built bridges of friendship and played his role beyond the Itsekiri nation.
“We were not expecting this but only God knows why it happened so early. On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I mourn with the Itsekiri nation on the passing of His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, the Olu of Warri Kingdom,” he said.
Earlier, the delegation which spoke through Chief Brown Mene, said its visit was to intimate the governor on the demise of the Warri monarch and the enthronement of a new one.
“Your Excellency, on the 5th of April, 2021, we got to a point where as a people, we gathered together to make a proclamation that our revered Ogiame Ikenwoli had been called to join his ancestors.
“And, because we know the king never dies, on that same day we proclaimed to the whole world that we have a new Olu-designate in the person of Prince Tsola Emiko.
“At the conclusion of the funeral rites of the departed King, we can then enthrone the new king,” Mene said.
However, while efforts are on to reconcile aggrieved parties there are indications that some persons seem committed to pulling down the house even at the instance of desecrating the revered palace of the Olu of Warri. Hence the reported attack on the palace which resulted in the carting away of key traditional materials is not only condemnable but uncalled for. And an indication of insincerity on the part the attackers. Although, the Police in Zone “5” Force Headquarters, Benin City, Edo State during the week issued an invitation to Chief Ayirimi Emami, the Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, alongside Chief Macgrey Richmond, the obvious fact is the development negates the call by the state governor for all parties to sheath their swords and support the Olu-designate.
Prince Harrison Oritsemone Jalla Deserves Commendation
It is in this regard that the bold step recently taken by one of the strongest contender to the throne, Prince Harrison Oritsemone Jalla to withdraw his legal struggle and publicly pledge his loyalty to the Olu-designate is not only commendable but a show of commitment to the advancement of peace and unity within the royal family and the Itsekiri kingdom in general.Part of the statement personally signed by Prince Harrison Jalla on his renouncing further rancour reads: ”I prince Harrison Oritsemone Jalla due to the prevailing circumstances in the Iwere Kingdom wish to make the following clarifications and therefore state as follows:
“That my legal action predates the selection of our Olu designate Crown Prince Tsola Emiko.“That the main thrust of my legal action which is largely being misconstrued by the media is the contention that the Oluship is not an Exclusive preserve of the Emiko’s Lineage and my position has not changed on that.“I stand for the Liberation of Iwere Kingdom from the hands of brigands who held the Kingdom hostage for the past five years for their personal interest and salute the courage of the Ginuwa ruling house for timeously checking their Excesses.
“That from henceforth I prince Harrison Oritsemone Jalla will not watch from the sidelines on matters concerning the Iwere Kingdom.“I pledge my unalloyed loyalty to our Olu designate Omoba Tsola Emiko whose mission is to completely transform Iwere kingdom and urge all my Itsekiri brothers and Sisters to disregard all publications concerning my humble self-relating to the Kingship they are not from me.
”There is no doubt that at a time like this when the Itsekiri nation is in mourning mood over the demise of the immediate past Olu of Warri, His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, what is required is peace and harmony not acrimony. Hence all concern must heed to the words of wisdom of Gov. Okowa who said, “It is only when there is peace that we can have development not only in Warri but the entire Delta State.” Indeed, the Itsekiri nation in particular and Delta state in general need peace now more than ever before. That is why everyone must work for that now.