The Itsekiri nation has formally announced the passage of its monarch, Ogiame Ikenwoli at Ode Itsekiri, its ancestral home in Warri, Delta State.

The Iyatsere of Warri kingdom and Acting Chairman Warri council of Chiefs and Olu Advisory council, Chief Johnson Amatserunreleghe announced the development at exactly 11.32 am before a gathering of Itsekiri prominent chiefs, sons and daughters.

According to report, he also said a period of mourning had been declared for the Itsekiri nation that will run for three months. During the period, no burials, marriages, dancing will hold across all Itsekiri communities.

“There shall be no merrymaking of any kind anywhere in Iwere land. All Itsekiri sons and daughters must tie their wrappers upside down for the duration”, it was announced.

This was followed by 20 cannon shots fired to announce the departure of the monarch. He said the 20 cannon shots signified that 20 Olus had reigned over the Iwere nation.

The monarch died in December 2020, barely a week after his fifth coronation anniversary after he was said to have met with the late Major General John Irefin, who had died earlier from COVID-19 complications.

The palace in a statement initially denied the demise of the first-class monarch, describing the story as untrue. But at exactly 11.52 am, Amatserunreleghe announced the new Olu of Warri-designate, Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko and presented the Omoba to the Itsekiri nation. Shouts of joy rent the air. His brief biography was later read by Prince Toju Emiko.

The new Olu-designate was born on April 2, 1984, to Prince Godwin Toritseju Emiko (the late Ogiame Atuwatse II) and Gladys Durorike Emiko in Warri, Delta State.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in International Studies and Political science while minoring in History and Economics. He also holds a Master’s of Science degree in Management.

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