Warri monarch’s outlawing of Ologbotsere title elicits wide acceptance
Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III’s decision to abolish the Ologbotsere title, hitherto held by Chief Ayiri Emami, has elicited wide acceptance and jubilation among the Itsekiri at home and in the Diaspora.
Reacting to the monarch’s decision, yesterday, Chairman of Itsekiri Interest Group (IIG), Gbubemi Awala, said by doing so, the Olu had asserted the dignity and honour of the Itsekiri nation, as one of the most respected royal courts on the African continent.
In a statement made available to The Guardian, Awala said Ayiri’s removal as Ologbotsere of Warri was greeted with universal elation.
“For the few years since his appointment as Ologbotsere by the late Ogiame Ikenwoli, Itsekiri lived with the embarrassment that a known carpetbagger was holding a revered title in a nation of noble persons.
“The shenanigans that preceded his appointment is well known among the Itsekiri and, in fact, there were demonstrations against his appointment at the palace.
“In the end, his installation was done secretly under a tent at an undesignated location in a bid to present Iwere Land with a fait accompli, unlike the pomp and pageantry that heralded the coronation of Ogiame Atuwatse III,” he said.
He described Ayiri as someone whose “tactless gallivanting around the corridors of power and trading with the dignity of Iwere Land for visibility and personal relevance irritated the Itsekiri people to no end.”
Awala stressed that by the monarch’s pronouncement, Ayiri was no longer an Itsekiri chief and his views do not align with the Itsekiri worldview, adding: “In effect, the world is hereby put on notice that he does not represent Iwere Land, as all his utterances and actions have been aimed at self-promotion.”
He pointed out that the Itsekiri people heaved a sigh of relief over Ayiri’s eventual dethronement, stressing that his (Ayiri’s) assertion that he did not recognise Ogiame Atuwase III as his king was proof of his confused state of mind.
“Only a delusional narcissist will argue with the universal acclamation of Ogiame Atuwatse III’s ascension to the throne of his forefathers.
“Over and beyond his reference to a suit he instituted against the emergence of the 21st Olu of Warri, Ayiri cannot pretend to be unaware of the monarch’s powers to appoint or dismiss chiefs,” he added.