From Paul Osuyi, Asaba and Ben Dunno, Warri
There was anxiety on Monday 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.
Sources claim that the monarch has been away from the public shortly after he celebrated his fifth coronation anniversary apparently on health grounds.
His absence from public appearances and even palace activities has fuelled the speculations that his health condition might have 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 to the cherished tradition of the people about divulging such information to the public.
However, some who spoke under the condition of anonymity denied that the monarch might have joined his ancestors.
The Olu, it would be recalled, 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.