June 21, 2021
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Late Olu of Warri burial rites: Heavy security at traditional vigil in Itsekiri ancestral home

Posted by News Express | 20 June 2021 | 127 times

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•Late monarch, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli

By BEN DUNNO, Warri

Ode-Itsekiri, the traditional ancestral home of Itsekiri nation, witnessed heavy presence of armed security personnels (Soldiers & Policemen) at the weekend for the cultural vigil held in honour of the departed monarch, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, whose burial rites commences.

The traditional cultural vigil which was part of the activities lined-up as 14 days traditional funeral rites for the repose of the soul of the ‘Iwere’ royal father was witnessed by dignitaries from all walks of life both at home and in the diaspora, who thronged the ancestral home to pay their last respect to the late monarch.

‘Big Warri’ as its popularly known is a riverside community in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta state, where major traditional events of the Itsekiri people, including the traditional burial rites for a departed monarch and the coronation ceremony of a new king were being held

However, the cultural vigil held at the ancestral home from Saturday to early hours of Sunday witnessed the heavy presence of both the military and police officers who were stationed in gunboats at strategic points right from the various jetties in Warri to the Ode-Itsekiri venue of the event.

The security personnel who were well armed were also well equipped with bomb and dangerous weapons detectors which were used in scanning invited guests st the point of boarding the boats and even to gain entrance into the main town hall where the cultural display was held.

Daily Sun investigations revealed that the heavy security beef-up in the community was to prevent a repetition of what played out in the Warri high court last Thursday where suspected hoodlums invaded the court premises and stopped the proceedings at Court 4, where a case instituted to challenge the emergence of the new Itsekiri monarch was being entertained.

Consequently, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Warri Branch, led by its Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Uti, had called on the security agencies to immediately set in measures that would nip such ugly trend in the bud, while also urging the Inspector General of Police to set up a team of investigators to unmask the perpetrators of the court invasion, which it described as; “despicable and a desecration of the hallowed temple of justice”.

However, the Saturday’s all-night traditional funeral rites was hitch-free with Ogele Ukpukpe, Ibiogbe and Uku-Umalikun Ola-Aja dancers, from the various Itsekiri communities, in their traditional costumes, showcased their rich cultural heritage to the delight of the teeming spectators including non-indigenes.

The colourful traditional funeral rites which also featured the Itsekiri’s hospitality and accommodating gestures was presided over by the Regent of Warri Kingdom, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh and Coordinated by the lawmaker representing Warri Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi.

Highlight of the all-night event was the deafening booming of guns to formally signal the commencement of the 14 days traditional funeral rites for the late 20th Olu of Warri, His Majesty Ikenwoli, and which will culminate in the coronation of the Olu-designate, Prince Tsola Emiko, at the same venue, on the 21st of August, 2021.

It would be recalled that a Commendable service was held in the church of the Palace of the Olu of Warri last Thursday, June 17, 2021, as parts of the 14 days burial rites for the late monarch of Iwere kingdom, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli.

The officiating clerics at the Commendation service, Rt. Rev.(Dr) Curtis Fianu, admonished the congregation on the need leave a legacy that would speak good of them behind before departing the world, as life itself vanishes like a vapour.

He noted that the earlier everyone present in the church realises that no amount of power, wealth or popularity attained in life can stop anyone from death and urged the dignitaries present to think of life after death as it had been apportioned for every man to die and at the end face judgement.

The Cleric who made reference to the bible verses of James 4 Verse 14 and Matthew 25 V 23, noted that as vapour the spirit of those that died would be gathered somewhere where they would all be judges accordingly by the kind of life they lived pn earth. (Sunday Sun)


Source: News Express


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