Protest rocks Warri over Delta govt’s description of Olu of Warri’s domain

From Joseph Obukata, Warri

Youths of Itsekiri ethnic nationality, yesterday, called for a review of the Delta Traditional Rulers Gazette, a document governing the traditional institution in the state after a government circular on the Olu of Warri’s domain description triggered protest in the metropolis.

The call is coming on the heels of a circular by Delta government reconstituting the state Traditional Rulers Council (TRC), where Olu of Warri kingdom was categorised as reigning over Warri South Local Government Area only.

Protesting Itsekiri youths, who took to the streets, claimed the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, lordship was restricted to only Warri South council instead of the three Warri local government areas where he reigns as monarch.

Daily Sun gathered that the public announcement which triggered the protest was, however, updated while the protest was ongoing apparently after attention of Delta  State government officials were drawn to it, though this was  unknown to the protesters.

The protesters, who converged on the NPA Expressway by Ugbuwangue, had marched through the ever-busy expressway to Delta Broadcasting Service, Warri, to register their grievances.

They accused the state government of deliberately undermining the paramount Itsekiri monarch, vowing never to tolerate any assault on the throne of the Olu of Warri.

The protesters, led by Secretary of Itsekiri National Youth Council, Warri South chapter, Jemi Mene-Ejegi, Mone Oris, and Beoyibo Bawo, called on the government to revisit the gazette constituting the TRC for proper recognition of the Olu of Warri.

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They said the gazette which established the TRC should be reviewed as Iwere (Itsekiri) people had only one monarch and his rulership should reflect in all his domains.

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The protesters, however, maintained that Iwere kingdom remains committed to the peaceful co-existence of Delta State.

Addressing newsmen, Chairman of Itsekiri Interest Group, Gbubemi Awala, said: “We stand against the recent publication of the Delta State TRC, where a list was released, but the Olu of Warri, who controls Warri South, Warri North and Warri South West councils, was not seen.” 

Reacting to the development in a statement, yesterday, a Warri-based lawyer, Robinson Ariyo, urged the government to immediately rectify what he called, “this nauseating and provocative circular by going back to the extant structure that puts the Olu of Warri as numero uno monarch in the three Warri councils.”

Meanwhile, in a backdated circular, which corrected the earlier circular that excluded the monarch from reigning over Warri North and Warri South West council, the state government listed Olu of Warri as a prominent monarch in Warri South, Warri South West and Warri North local government areas.

Daily Sun gathered that the updated circular, which named Major General Felix Mujakperuo (retd.) Orhue 1, the Orodje of Okpe as the state chairman, the Pere of Akugbene-Mein, Kalamana VIII, Pere Stanley P. Luke, as 1st vice chairman and the Obi of Ubulu-Unor, Agbogidi, Obi Henry A. Kikachukwu as 2nd vice chairman, respectively, may have doused tension among the aggrieved Itsekiris in the state.

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