There was a new twist to the royal battle bedeviling the Itsekiri nation as the Ologbotsere of Warri, second-in-command to the Olu throne, Chief Ayirimi Emami, declared the purported announcement of the passage of the Olu Ogiame Ikenwoli as illegal, null and void.
The controversy came to the fore on Monday.
The Ologbotsere also declared the unveiling of Prince Tsola Emiko on Monday by some group of persons as successor to the throne as illegal.
The Ologbotsere, in a spontaneous reaction to the announcement made at Ode-Itsekiri by the Iyatsere of Warri kingdom, Chief Johnson Atserunleghe, insisted that the revered Warri monarch has not joined his ancestors.
In a terse statement, the Ologbotsere declared: “The Olu has not joined his ancestors. As far as I am concerned, whatever was done today at Ode-Itsekiri was kangaroo in search of power.
“The person that has the right to pronounce the transition of the Olu of Warri, whenever that happens, is the Ologbotsere, which I am till this moment by the grace of God. I must add that the 1979 edict has not been amended to give any other person the right to pronounce the passage of the Olu of Warri, apart from the Ologbotsere.”
The Iyatsere of Warri, Chief Johnson Amatserunreleghe, had at a brief ceremony at Ode-Itsekiri announced the son of Atuwatse ll, the 19th Olu of Warri, Prince Tsola Emiko, as the new Olu of Warri.
Amatserunreleghe also officially announced the passage of His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, at the Ode-Itsekiri, the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people.
The announcement followed week-long of intrigues and bitter tirade, which had greeted the Olu throne in the past few months.
But Ayiri Emami declared that the 1979 edict, which gazetted the traditional processes, passage and enthronement procedure of a new Olu, which has not been amended till date, gives no other person the right to pronounce the passage of the Olu of Warri apart from the Ologbotsere.
He insisted that not until he officially announces the passage of an Olu as stated in the Edict as reigning Ologbotsere, anything done is null and void and would never stand the test of time.