The ancient Iwere Kingdom, also known as Warri, which is the ancestral home of the Itsekiri in Warri South Local Government Area, Delta State, on Saturday, witnessed new dawn of history as His Royal Highness Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko, was crowned the 21st Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III.
According to history, this would be the first time in over two centuries where the eldest son of an Olu would ascend the throne with his mother still alive and well to witness him sit on the throne.
The new Olu was officially crowned by the Uwangue of Warri, Chief Gabriel Awala, leading other designated kingmakers, after Emiko had successfully concluded all the mandatory traditional rites for his ascension to the throne, thus laying to rest the bickering and controversies over who succeeds the immediate past Olu, His Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli, who joined his ancestors in December 2020.
In his opening speech, after his investiture as the newly-installed Olu of Warri, His Royal Highness, Ogiame Atuwatse III, revisited the past to reverse an age-long curse placed on Nigeria by his grandfather, Olu Erejuwa II, as a result of alleged injustice meted out to him.
Erejuwa II was the paramount leader of the Itsekiri, who was the Olu of Warri from 1951 to 1964 and from 1966 to 1986.
He was the 18th Olu of Warri Kingdom with the title Ogiame Erejuwa II.
The new Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, reversed his grandfather’s curse on Saturday during his coronation.
He declared “a release of forgiveness, healing and unprecedented peace, prosperity, progress and development to the Federal Government of Nigeria, whose might was used to propagate that offence” against the late Olu Erejuwa II.
He also stated that the motto of his reign would be ‘righteousness and justice,’ which, according to him, is the foundation on which God’s kingdom is built.
He declared, “While not seeking to reopen old wounds, it is pertinent to recall the fact that following the grave injustice meted out to Olu Erejuwa II, he visited His Royal Majesty, Oba Akenzua II of Benin, and recounted his ordeal.
“In a reaction, a curse was placed on the land by both of them. It is not recorded that Olu Erejuwa II reversed the curse over the land nor is it recorded that Oba Akenzua II did the same. Most probably, the issue was never revisited.
“As a firm believer in the intricate interconnectedness between the spiritual and the manifestation in the physical, it is our firm belief that the matter needs to be addressed.
“Today, in our capacity as Olu, we hereby avow, as the spiritual, cultural, political and traditional ruler of this land, I, Ogiame Atuwatse III, the 21st Olu of Warri, the first son of Olu Atuwatse II, the grandson and direct descendant of Olu Erejuwa II, who was offended on this throne, I hereby reverse the curse placed over this land.
“In its place, I release forgiveness and healing to the Federal Government of Nigeria whose might was used to propagate that offence. And I decree unprecedented and uncommon peace, prosperity, progress, development upon this land. I bring down the government of heaven upon this land and I direct it to flow as a force that can neither be sabotaged, slowed or stopped. It goes out as a strong ripple effect emanating from this kingdom to the rest of the Niger Delta, the rest of the Nigerian nation and even the African continent.”