Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Thursday condoled with the Itsekiri people in the state on the passing of their monarch, Ogiame Ikenwoli, the Olu of Warri.
Okowa told members of Olu of Warri Advisory Council, who visited him at Government House, Asaba, that the departed Olu was an epitome of peace who built bridges across ethnic divides in the country.
He stated that the late Ogiame contributed immensely 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 Ogiame 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 the life of his Royal Majesty who has gone to the great beyond and I pray that 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 His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, the Olu of Warri Kingdom,” he said. The governor congratulated the Olu-designate, Prince Tsola Emiko, on his emergence and called on the Itsekiri people to give him their full support.
He urged the Olu Advisory Council led by the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Johnson Omatseye,to do its best to unite everyone and ensure that there is peace in Warri Kingdom. “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 that 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 added.
He urged all aggrieved persons in the process of picking a new Olu to sheath their swords to ensure that everything was done peacefully and in unity in the overall interest of Itsekiri people. Earlier, the delegation which spoke through Chief Brown Mene, said its visit was to intimate the governor on the demise of the Warri monarch and the enthronement of a new one.
“Your Excellency, on the 5th of April, 2021, we got to a point where as a people, we gathered together to make a proclamation that our revered Ogiame 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 Prince Tsola 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. High point of the visit was the presentation of a letter to the governor formally notifying him of the demise of the monarch.