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Removal of Emami as Ologbotsere stands, chief insists

By Jesutomi Akomolafe
04 November 2021   |   2:40 am
One month after the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III removed Chief Ayiri Emami as Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, a senior Warri palace chief, Chief Mene Brown, yesterday

Chairman, Itsekiri Renaissance Group, Oti Ikomi (right); Ogwa Olusan of Warri, Chief Mene Brown and Prince Toju Emiko of Ginuwa II Ruling House during a briefing on the removal of Mr. Ayiri Emami as Ologbotsere of Warri in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

One month after the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III removed Chief Ayiri Emami as Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, a senior Warri palace chief, Chief Mene Brown, yesterday, at a media briefing in Lagos, said the decision of the Olu remains sacrosanct and final.

Chief Brown stated that as the spiritual, cultural, traditional and political leader of the Itsekiri, the Olu’s decision to de-robe Emami stands and is not subject to debate.

“Central to all things in Iwere land is the authority of the Olu, who has the first and final say in all chieftaincy matters. To be sure, Mr. Ayiri Emami has ceased to be an Itsekiri chief and certainly has no claims to retention of the title of Ologbotsere that in reality belongs to the king and was merely concessioned to the Ologbotsere family, which I am a member of. Anything he says or does now is an affront to the kingdom.

“We respect tradition. Before he was made a chief in 2017, with the Ologbotsere, making him a first among equals in the rank of palace chiefs, I had been a chief for 22 years. Though all chieftancy positions are for life, but when any chief engages in any misconduct, the Olu has the right to remove him.”

Describing the recent wrangling as a pain in the hipbone, requiring surgery, Brown said: “When you have a pain in your hip, affecting your movement, the thing to do is a surgery to remove the pain, which the king has done and has the right to do.”

Also speaking, Prince Toju Emiko, dismissed the insinuation that the deposed Ologbotsere had a prime minister’s status in the kingdom with executive powers. Explaining, he said: “By tradition, the Ologbotsere is the head of the Olu Advisory Council of seven chiefs that see to the processes to install a new Olu. He used his position as the presiding chief to create a stalemate and almost stalled the process of installing the new Olu, and once a king has been installed, his interim duty ends.”

Chairman of Itsekiri Renaissance Group, Dr Oti Ikomi, called on all Itsekiri, home and abroad, to join hands with the Olu in developing the Itsekiri nation.

He said: “In the Itsekiri ethnic group areas, up to 30 per cent of Nigeria’s oil and gas is produced. A renaissance of massive development into tourism, business, environment, infrastructure, etc., is urgently required, as well as an equitable advancement of our people in jobs and qualified national positions.

“The Itsekiri Renaissance Group will work with our brethren as well as our neighbours for development of Iwere land, Warri Kingdom, Delta State and our country Nigeria.”