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Christmas Carol echoes in Warri Kingdom

By Maria Diamond
25 December 2021   |   4:09 am
The ancient Kingdom of Warri, Delta State was adorned with colourful parades, dances, fireworks and cultural entertainment last weekend as the Monarch, His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III and His wife, Olori Atuwatse III

A choral group performing at the event

The ancient Kingdom of Warri, Delta State was adorned with colourful parades, dances, fireworks and cultural entertainment last weekend as the Monarch, His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III and His wife, Olori Atuwatse III, welcomed the world to the maiden edition of the Royal Iwere Christmas Carol and Ghigho Aghofen, a legacy project which forms part of Warri Kingdom centre of tourism and development project held at Aghofen in Warri.

The two-day Christmas Carol, which commenced on Friday December 17 and ended Saturday 18, 2021, was graced by dignitaries such as Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom, HRM, Ovie Richard Layeguen Ogbon (Ogoni-Oghoro); former Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan; Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District of Delta State, James Manager; founding Pastor, Word of Life Bible Church, Papa Ayo Oritsejafor; founder, Restoring Issachar’s Generation (RIG), Apostle Tomi Arayomi; and other traditional rulers from across Nigeria and high ranking officials from state agencies.

The Christmas Carol was a night of high praises, traditional renditions and deep ministrations as guests and indigenes of the Kingdom were thrilled with classic Christmas carols such as ‘Silent Night,’ ‘Once In Royal David City,’ ‘The First Noel’ and ‘Halleluyah Chorus,’ all rendered with instruments and intonations that define the rich cultural heritage of the Warri people.

The event featured a series of cultural dance, music, and other spectacular traditional displays, including the ceremonial hoisting of the Ureju crested flag representing the first community to partake of the Palace’s legacy welfare project, by His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III, to the delight of guests and indigenes.

High points of the grand occasion were the elegant, fashionable and rich cultural displays by the Ureju community, the paying of homage by the palace chiefs, the ethereal renditions of carols by the choir, the reverberating recitation of the Itsekiri National Anthem and the spectacular fireworks display at the close of the evening from the beautifully lit Palace premises.

Other community settlers in Delta such as representatives of the Hausa, Igbo, Ijaw and other communities were not left out as they all matched out in turns to pay homage to Ogiame Atuwatse III, praying for the peace and progress of his reign.

Similarly, Ghigho Aghofen now known as the Community-Watch initiative attracted traditional rulers, captains of industries, government officials and well-wishers from across the country and outside its shores.

In his address, Ogiame Atuwatse III, described the Community-Watch initiative as the latest cultural innovation of the Kingdom.

He said: “Ghigho Aghofen (now Community Watch) is a new initiative and a legacy project which forms part of our plans to establish Warri Kingdom as a centre of tourism and development in Nigeria.

The project is not about watching the Palace but about the welfare of over 200 communities. Hence the immediate change of the initiative from Palace Watch to Community Watch.

He also announced the establishment of the Royal Iwere Society, set up to coordinate and organise a central resource centre for all things Itsekiri – the history, the identity and the unique ways of the people.

Since ascending the throne in August 2021, HRM, Ogiame and Olori Atuwatse III have intensified efforts in ushering in the new Warri Kingdom characterised by socio-economic growth and opportunities for its people.