The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, last Tuesday, abolished the traditional title of Ologbotsere in Warri Kingdom.
He said the erstwhile holder of the title should no longer be addressed as such across the Kingdom and other parts of the world.
With this pronouncement, Ayiri Emami is no longer Ologbotsere of the kingdom.
The monarch made the pronouncement before descendants of the Ologbotsere family at a meeting in his palace.
The monarch, at a meeting with Ologbotsere descendants said, “We have taken time to ponder and have arrived at our final decision”, and called on Chief Brown Mene, to read out his position.
Mene, on his part, harped on the high regards the monarch has for the Ologbotsere descendants and stressed that many of them were titled chiefs of the kingdom.
He reiterated that the abolition of Ologbotsere title had not in any way denied the family members of chieftaincy titles in the kingdom, saying, “The monarch called you, because of the respect he has for the Ologbotsere descendants.
“It is the king that gives chieftaincy titles. It is also the king that withdraws titles. This is the tradition. There are several of Ologbotsere children that are chiefs. The Ologbotsere family is very dear to to the monarch.
“There is no Ologbotsere title again. The head of the Ologbotsere title can answer the nickname. It is the pronouncement of the king and Itsekiri nation. There will be peace, blessings in the land.
“There is no Ologbotsere again. Nobody should parade in that title. You remember the king dissolved the Council of Chiefs and has been re-admitting and revalidating titles and has also reconstituted the council of Chiefs. Nobody should relate with anyone in the title as Ologbotsere,” he said.
The Ologbotsere descendants at the meeting were, the Head of the family, Pa Jofotan Oporakun; Secretary General of the family, William L. A. Anukun; Mr. Fred Omaghomi, Besidane Esimaje, Omaghomi, Hon O. J. Nana, and Mr Samuel B.O Okorodudu.
Some of the Chiefs also present were the most senior, the Iyatsere and Chairman Warri Council of Chiefs, Chief Johnson Amatserunleghe; Chief Gabriel Awala, Chief BrownMene, Chief Patrick Iralaju, Chief Maleghemi A., Chief Eugene Ikomi and Chief Solomon Arenyeka.
Ayiri Emami had been suspended by Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, as regent before the emergence of Ogiame Atuwatse III, Olu of Warri, over several reasons, which included alleged abuse of the title.
He assured the people then that the matter would be revisited by a substantive Olu of Warri after his coronation.
But reacting to his being deposed as Ologbotsere of Warri kingdom, Emami, who spoke to Journalists on phone last night said the Itsekiri monarch has no power to take such action, since he was already challenging the process that produced him as Olu in court.
“He has no power to do so. I don’t recognise him as Olu of Warri. I’m already in court with him. I’ll take further action to tell the court to stop him from parading himself as Olu. I’m already challenging the processes that produced him but now I am consulting my lawyers to file a new motion stopping him from parading himself as our king,” Ayiri stated.
On the meeting between the monarch and the Ologbotsere family, the billionaire businessman and politician, said, “He (Olu of Warri) invited the Ologbotsere family for meeting and my people honoured him where he made the pronouncement.
“He did not hear from his guests – Ologbotsere family. The family have (sic) agreed to meet on Thursday to review and take a position on this latest development. The meeting will hold in Warri”, he said.
Ayiri, however, appealed to his supporters and the Itsekiri Nation worldwide to remain calm on the latest development.
Shortly after the meeting, Ogiame Atuwatse III hosted leaders and members of the Warri chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, (NUJ) and urged them to continue to adhere to the ethics of the profession by avoiding temptations to report fake news.
He commended the journalists and assured them that the palace would sustain the healthy relationship with the NUJ. He later offered royal blessings to the journalists and their various media houses.
Chairman of the body, Mr. Victor Okpomo, congratulated the monarch on his ascension to the throne and urged him to partner the body, adding too that the union would always report the activities of the palace accurately, and that the monarch would be decorated as a Life Patron of the body in her coming NUJ week in Warri, Delta State.