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Activities marking Olu of Warri’s first coronation anniversary begin

By Chido Okafor, Warri
17 August 2022   |   2:44 am
Programme of activities marking the first year coronation anniversary of Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, begins today.

[FILES] Prince Tsola Emiko adjusts his crown after being installed as the 21st Olu of Warri kingdom and the Ogiame Atuwatse 111 during his coronation at Ode Itsekiri on August 21, 2021. Thirty seven-year-old Prince Tsola Emiko, now the Ogiame Atuwatse 111, has been installed as the king or known as the Olu of Warri kingdom in Niger delta region, one of the foremost royal institutions in the country. Thousands of people in traditional red and white attire thronged to the riverine community of Ode-Itsekiri in southern Nigeria’s oil hub Warri to witness the ascension of their new king. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

Programme of activities marking the first year coronation anniversary of Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, begins today.

According to the Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the anniversary celebrations, Prince Yemi Emiko, the event holds from August 17 to August 21.

The programme begins with Praise Day, followed by thanksgiving, praise and worship sessions inside the main church auditorium within the palace in Warri, Delta State.

Next day will witness ‘Warri Food Festival’, a novel idea of the monarch, to showcase different food items, sources and modes of preparation. The various menus, colours and tastes of Itsekiri cuisine are to be on display. This is to be followed closely same day as Iwere Music Concert and launch of Iwere Royal Society.

Other schedules are to be observed, thereafter, including the declaration of Health Day on Friday, August 19, by the Olu during which healthcare services would be delivered to the people by the traditional ruler at the Palace of Chief Nana Olomu, the great merchant of Niger Delta and successful Itsekiri businessman, who was Governor of the Benin River Protectorate, under the British colonial administration.

According to Emiko, activities would shift to Ode Itsekiri, headquarters of Warri kingdom, on Saturday, where Itsekiri, in their thousands, will take turns to pay homage to their revered first-class monarch, amid cultural display, traditional dances, drumming, singing, an exhibition of Itsekiri arts and history in a show of family heirloom by various Itsekiri nobles, in a joyous and exciting atmosphere.

The media committee chairman added that the anniversary would be rounded off on Sunday, August 21, the actual coronation day of the 21st Olu of Warri, with a thanksgiving service inside the church at Aghofen, the monarch’s palace in Warri mainland.

He assured all and sundry that the gates of the palace would be opened to all Itsekiri sons and daughters, home and abroad, friends of Iwere land, as well as neighbours and well-wishers, who desire to partake peacefully in the ceremony.