The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has consoled the Itsekiri sons and daughters worldwide over the passage of the immediate past Olu of Warri, His Royal Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli.
In a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, the Ooni prayed for the soul of late Olu Ikenwoli who he described as a natural traditional ruler who meant well for his people and a great descendant of Oduduwa who in his 5 years as Olu Warri contributed immensely to the upliftment of the agelong relationship of the Itsekiri and Yoruba nations.
“Ogiame Ikenwoli was a fantastic leader and highly respected member of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN), so passionate about harmonious coexistence among the nations of the lager Oduduwa race worldwide, Yoruba, Edo and Itsekiri nations in particular. We related very closely, we exchanged royal visits, we agreed, just like our predecessors to ensure stronger Oduduwa family ties. May his soul rest in the perfect peace of the Almighty Olodumare who uphold the family he left behind and give the fortitude to bear the loss his demise has caused as he has joined his ancestors”. Ooni prayed.
Ooni Ogunwusi who is the natural head of the Oduduwa dynasty worldwide further commended the Itsekiri people for their adherence to norms, culture and inherited traditions in the selection of 37 year old Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko, as the Olu-designate.
He said the emergence of the new Olu of Warri has marked a remarkable beginning of another phase in the long and noteworthy history of Itsekiri people.
“From the sacred throne of Oduduwa at Ile-Ife, we rejoice with Omooba Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko
as the new Olu of Warri and Itesekiri people all over the world. We look forward to peace, concord and progress across Itsekiri land during the reign of the new Olu of Warri. All the descendants of Oduduwa all over the world look forward to a progressive reign of the new monarch”, the Ooni said.
The Ooni added that since when the first Olu Iginuwa emerged several centuries ago, the Oduduwa dynasty has continued to build of a cord of mutual respect and trust founded on timeless relationship, culture and an unbroken chain between the Yoruba and Itsekiri people, saying the Itsekiri represent a formidable dominion in the history of Oduduwa dynasty.
‘We are proud of the blood bound relationship amo all the descendants of Oduduwa and our Itsekiri brothers and sisters. We cherish the shared history, common ancestry, common spirituality, shared fears and aspirations. Our forefathers stood by each other in moments of thick and thin, they stood shoulder-to-shoulder as one indivisible energy, we hope to keep this precious gift they left for us. We cherish this important history. We shall guide it and defend it to the good of the great civilisations of Itsekiri and Yoruba people, a memory that has survived decades of travails and trials.”
The Ooni said the House of Oduduwa via Ife Royal Court has followed the developments in Warri with keen interest.
“Peace and stability for the people of Itsekiri is our utmost desire. We want to see Itsekiri land witness more prosperity, more fertility, more harmony and peace of mind with their neighbours towards a more united Oodua race and better Nigeria.”
It will be recalled, Ooni Ogunwusi had through his annual Easter message last Friday urged Nigerias to pray and stand with the Itsekiri nation and urged all stakeholders in the selection and final enthronement of the Olu of Warri to keep intimating the Itsekiri nation and their Yoruba brothers with required information for transparency.
Upon the receiving information on the meeting of Itsekiri General Assembly for the official pronouncements about the demise of Olu Ikenwoli and a selection of an Olu-designate, Ooni Ogunwusi in his capacity as the Arole Oduduwa sent a powerful delegation from Yorubaland led by the Oore of Otun Ekiti, HRM, Oba Adekunle Adeagbo and the Olubosin of Ifetedo, HRM, Oba Akinola Akinrera to solidarize with the Itsekiri nation during the critical moment and to witness the public presentation of the the New Olu of Warri by Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom.
The Olu of Warri designate, Omooba Tsola Emiko is the son of HRM, Toritseju Emiko who was Olu of Warri from 1987 to 2015 and a Yoruba mother, Olori Duroorike Emiko, a princess from Ogere-Remo in Ogun state.