President Muhammadu Buhari, the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja 1, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, on Saturday said they were sure that the newly-crowned Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwtse III, will continue the time-honoured 500 years noble tradition of the Itsekiri nation.
President Buhari, who described the Atuwatse III as the new monarch of the time, said the monarch’s sound educational background and exposure have prepared him well to bring further peace and prosperity to his people.
Represented by head of the Federal Government delegation and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege
at the colourful Olu of Warri coronation ceremony held at Ode-Itsekiri, the cradle of all Itsekiri in Warri South Local Government Area, Delta State, on Saturday, , the president expressed utmost delight at the occasion.
“I’m delighted to join millions of Nigerians on your ascension of the exalted throne as the 21st Olu of Warri.
“Your ascension to the throne is ordained by God. As the youngest Olu of Warri, you’re the monarch of this time.
“You’re well-educated and a successful entrepreneur with national and international work experience.
“Your royal majesty is blessed with vision and mission and fully equipped to look back and forge ahead with the people for the future.
“I’m settled that you’ll continue the 500 years noble tradition, and your reign will witness improved peace, progress and development of your people and the nation,” he prayed.
Speaking in his capacity as Senator representing Delta Central district at the upper chamber, Omo-Agege urged the new Olu to count on him for support at any point in time, adding he’s a representative for all Deltans.
Other dignitaries at the event included: Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, SAN, representative of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Chief of Staff, Festus Agas, Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Atiku Bagudu and Deputy Gov, Edo State, Comrade Philip Shuaibu.
Others were former Gov of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, former Gov of Bornu State, Ali Modu Sheriff, representative of Minister of the Ministry of the Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio and Hon. Ahmed Wadada, among others.
Leading the pack of traditional rulers at the coronation event was the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Oba of Benin, Omo N’ Oba N’Edo Ewuare II, King Jaja of Opobo and Olowo of Owo, among several others.
Oni of Ife, while congratulating the youngest Olu of Warri in history, urged the 37-year-old Olu to be a father to all Itsekiri, good or bad.
“We’re happy from the throne of Oodua. A fantastic 21st Olu of Warri coincidence in the 21st century. We can feel the energy in the air.
“You’re loved by your people. I appeal to you as a father to be good to the good and the bad and the ugly. Embrace the entire kingdom.
“Extend a hand of fellowship to all. Extend a fatherly hands to all. We have a very charismatic, handsome and adorable king. God’ll guide you.
“We will work with you as co-chair of the traditional ruler in Nigeria,” he enthused.
Governor of Delta State, Senator Okowa, represented by his Chief of Staff, Ovie Agas, lauded all Itsekiri sons and daughters for a hitch-free ceremony.
Relishing the unity, grandeur and electrifying ambience of the coronation, Chief Agas, who apologised for the absence of his boss for obvious reasons, urged all Itsekiri to “co-operate and work with the new Olu for progress, saying “irrespective of political religious, colouration, they should work with the digital and IT-compliant Olu,” assuring the Warri Kingdom of the state government’s support.
Picking the microphone to address his people after he was crowned with a brand new golden crown at exactly 3:24p.m by the Uwuangwe of Warri Kingdom as the 21st Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III, rendered about five Christian worship songs to acknowledge his being subject to a higher divine authority.
This was greeted by loud ovations from the mammoth crowd that flooded Ode-Itsekiri (Big Warri), ancestral home of all Itsekiri and venue of the coronation.
The Olu, thereafter, acknowledged the nature and achievements of his immediate past predecessor, Ogiame Ikenwoli, reversed a curse he said was placed on the kingdom during the reign of His Majesty, Erejuwa II, his grand father, and declared blessing upon the land and his people.
A resounding “Ameeeenn” and “Iseee” followed the decrees he pronounced upon the land, just as he further declared that the throne, people and land belong to the Creator.
He expressed his commitment to the progress of Itsekiris, ensure the people remain united and lauded all true Itsekiri sons and daughters who stood tall when the foundation of the throne appeared shaken.
“God intervened this time and ensured the nation remains United. We’re not and never offended by everything that happened.
“This is a special day ordained by today. Today is the day of divine visitation heralding a divine habitation. It’s God’s doing not mine.
“When the palace of the king is burnt down, it is because a better one is coming.
“We have introduced a new gold and silver crowns. I call on all Itsekiri to come over in their capacity to build Iwereland.
“I call on our neighbours, Ijaws, Urhobos to join hands with us. We’ll be redefining the royal throne. We should renew our mind,” he admonished.
Atuwatse III further urged his fellow youths across the country to renew their mind, directing towards development devoid of politics.
“We must direct our energy in the right direction for development devoid of partisan politics.
“We’ll build up our women. We’ll ensure our women are honoured and respected. You’ll no longer be invisible,” he pledged.
The new Olu thereafter announced that his mother should be henceforth addressed as Iya-Olu Atuwatse III and his wife, Olori Atuwatse III.
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