From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has charged Olu of Warri Advisory Council to do its best to unite everyone in Itsekiri nation and ensure there is peace in Warri kingdom.
He urged aggrieved persons in the process of picking a new Olu to sheathe their swords to ensure everything was done peacefully and in unity in the overall interest of Itsekiri people.
The charge is coming following seeming succession crisis in the kingdom as a result of the passage of the former Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwole.
Okowa spoke in Asaba, yesterday, when he hosted members of the Olu Advisory Council who presented a letter to the governor, informing him of the passage of Ikenwole, and intimating him that a process has already commenced for the enthronement of a successor.
The visit is coming barely 48 hours after the Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, said the government was not aware that Ikenwole had joined his ancestors.
The governor congratulated the Olu-designate, Tsola Emiko, on his emergence, and called on the Itsekiri people to support him.
“I thank God that you have been able to arrive at a decision in the interest of the people on the choice of a new monarch.
“I pray to God to lead the Itsekiri nation through these trying times even as we work towards giving the departed king befitting burial rites and as we also look forward to the presentation of the new king.
“Please extend my congratulations to the new monarch and we assure him that our prayers are with him just as we pray the Itsekiri nation will remain united.
“It is only when there is peace that we can have development not only in Warri but the entire Delta State,” Okowa said.
He condoled with the Itsekiri people on the passing of the former king, describing the departed Olu as an epitome of peace who built bridges across ethnic lines in the country.
Okowa said the late monarch contributed to the peace and development of not only Warri kingdom, but the state and the country.
“I want to truly condole with the whole of Itsekiri nation on the passing of Ikenwoli, the king who believed in peace.
“He set out to visit other monarchs to establish partnership and friendship and these partnerships he built helped to improve on the peace in the state and helped to bringing various kingdoms together.
“We thank God for his life and I pray the Itsekiri nation will continue to work for peace because he was an epitome of peace.
“We appreciate his conduct as a royal father who was always with us at state functions along with his colleagues. He built bridges of friendship and played his role beyond the Itsekiri nation.
“We were not expecting this but only God knows why it happened so early. On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I mourn with the Itsekiri nation on the passing of Ikenwoli,” he said.
Earlier, the delegation which spoke through Brown Mene, said the visit was to intimate the governor on the demise of the Warri monarch and the enthronement of a new one.
“Your Excellency, on April 5, we got to a point where as a people, we gathered together to make a proclamation that our revered Ikenwoli had been called to join his ancestors.
“And, because we know the king never dies, on that same day we proclaimed to the whole world that we have a new Olu-designate in the person of Emiko.
“At the conclusion of the funeral rites of the departed King, we can then enthrone the new king,” Mene said.
The delegation also condoled with the governor on the demise of his father, Pa. Arthur Okorie, who died in January.