Rumours making the rounds about the monarch of Warri kingdom was yesterday, laid to rest as the Itsekiri nation announced the demise of His Royal Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse 11, the Olu of Warri, just as a successor to the throne and Olu designate, Prince Godfrey Ikenwoli Emiko, was officially presented to the public.
Consequent upon this announcement, a 90-day mourning period was declared as a traditional mark of respect to the 70-year old monarch who reigned on the throne of his forefathers for twenty eight years.
Within this period, every adult male and female of Itsekiri nation will have their wrappers tied upside down, just as there will be no burial ceremony, drumming or any other form of party within the ninety days mourning period.
Making the pronouncement before a mammoth crowd of Itsekiri people at Ode-Itsekiri in Warri South local government area, was the most senior chief and a member of the Olu Advisory Council and the Ojomo of Warri kingdom, Chief Tesigiweno Yahya Pessu, after performing the required traditional rites.
Chief Pessu performed a traditional rite of smashing on ground for about three times a substance tied in red cloth symbolising the end of the era of Ogiame Atuwatse 11. This was greeted by several gunshots fired into the air as marks of respect to the late Olu of Warri monarch, according to Itsekiri custom.
Speaking after the official presentation of the Olu designate, Chief Pessu, said the jubilant mammoth crowd which spontaneously jumped into celebration in spite of their mourning mood, signifies mass acceptance of the Olu designate, Prince Godfrey Ikenwoli Emiko.
“You can see the mammoth crowd of acceptance. It is evident of acceptance. The significance of the rite I performed is to tell the Itsekiri people the passing away of the king.