There was anxiety, yesterday, in Warri and parts of Delta State over the health status of a first class traditional ruler in the state, the Olu of Warri, Ikenwoli Godfrey Emiko.
The monarch had be away from the public shortly after he celebrated his fifth coronation anniversary apparently on health grounds.
His absence from public spaces and even palace activities has fuelled the speculations that his health condition might of deteriorated.
As a result, our correspondent learnt, residents in the oil rich city of Warri expressed fears that the monarch might have passed on.
Speculations were rife that the 20th Olu of Warri might have contracted COVID-19 which he might have eventually succumbed to.
But our correspondent could not confirm the speculations to ascertain the true health status of the revered royal father.
Reliable palace sources maintained sealed lips over the issue, apparently owing the cherished tradition of the people about divulging such information to the public.
However, some who spoke under the condition of anonymity said the monarch might have joined his ancestors.
Multiple sources in Delta State confirmed that the monarch passed on at the Lily Hospital, Warri.
Details of the death of the monarch remain sketchy when filing this report but our sources say his death might be a result of COVID-19 complications as he might have contracted the virus from the Army GOC who died from it recently.
An official announcement is expected to be made soon by the Ologbosere of Warri, Chief Emami Ayiri, who, as the traditional prime minister of the town, is empowered to break the news of the monarch’s death.
Chief Ayiri, who is out of town, is on his way back .
The Olu celebrated his fifth year on the throne barely two weeks ago when he was said to be lively without any sign of illness.
The monarch who is in his 60s was coronated on December 12, 2015 when he succeeded his elder brother, Olu Atuwatse Godwin Toritseju Emiko who reigned from 1987 to 2015.