The reign of the 21st Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, yesterday, began with a breath of fresh air, as he ascended the throne of his forefathers on a forgiving note. He reversed the ancestral curse placed on the country by his grandfather, Olu Erejuwa II, and Uku Akpolokpolo, Akenzua II of Benin, over an alleged injustice meted out to the former.
Not only did the new monarch call on all sons and daughters of Warri to close ranks and work with him towards repositioning the Kingdom, he also, in his coronation address extolled the virtues of the Itsekiri people at home and in the Diaspora.
Importantly, he promised that his kingdom would soon enunciate progressive policies, which would showcase the rich Itsekiri cultural and historical heritage with a view to foster socio-economic fortunes.
“While not seeking to reopen old wounds, it is pertinent to recall the grave injustice meted out to Olu Erejuwa II. He visited His Royal Majesty, Oba Akenzua II of Benin and recounted his ordeal. In his reaction, a curse was placed on the land by both of them,” the monarch said.
“It is not recorded that Olu Erejuwa II reversed the curse on the land neither is it recorded that Oba Akenzua II did the same. Most probably, the issue was never revisited.
“As a firm believer of the intricate interconnection between the spiritual and the manifestation in the physical, I am a firm believer that the matter needs to be addressed.
“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 of, and direct descendant of Olu Erejuwa II who was offended on this throne, 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 an uncommon peace, prosperity, progress, and development upon this land.
“I bring down the government of heaven unto this land, and I direct it to flow as a course that can neither be sabotaged, slowed, nor stopped.
“It goes out as a strong ripple effect emanating from this kingdom to the rest of the Niger Delta, to the rest of the Nigerian nation, and even to the African continent,” he said.
The monarch, who pledged to be focused “as the spiritual, cultural, political and traditional ruler of Warri Kingdom,” described his emergence as “God’s project.”
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented at the colourful event by a team led by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, which also had Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo etc, said Atuwatse III ascension was ordained by God, adding that his vision, wisdom, youthfulness and business acumen would usher in development to Itsekiri Land.
“I am delighted to join many Nigerians to felicitate with the Olu of Warri kingdom. Your Royal Majesty, your ascension to the throne has been ordained by the Almighty God. As the youngest-ever Olu of Warri, as well as an educated and successful entrepreneur with national and international work experience, your royal highness is blessed with vision and wisdom to look back and embrace century-old tradition, even as we look forward to the future and perseverance of the young generation,” the president said.
THE Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), charged the monarch to provide an environment that will bolster peace, unity and development not only in his Kingdom, and Delta State, but the entire Niger Delta region and the country at large.
National Chairman of PANDEF, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, in a statement, yesterday said, “We extend the sincere felicitations and best wishes of the Board of Trustees, National and State Executive Committees, and the entire membership of PANDEF to His Majesty on ascending to the ancient throne of Olu of Warri.
The coronation ceremony attracted many dignitaries, including former governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Deputy Governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shuaibu, former governor of Bornu State, Ali Modu Sheriff among others.