Ayirimi Emami, Ologbotsere of Warri kingdom and Chairman of Warri Council of Chiefs, has said there is no Olu Of Warri-designate.
Emami made the clarification following the announcement of the demise of Ogiame Ikenwoli, the current Olu of Warri, and the naming of Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko, a prince, as his successor, on Tuesday.
According to the Ologbotsere in a statement on Wednesday, he is yet to make a formal announcement that Ikenwoli “has joined his ancestors” as required by the domain’s customs, insisting that the kingdom has no new king yet.
The statement read: “I want to state categorically clear as before that Olu of Warri, His Royal Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli, has not joined his ancestor as being alleged. I have not convened any general assembly of the people as tradition demands to state the contrary,” he said.
“So if His Royal Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli has not joined his ancestor, where does Olu-designate evolve from?”
Emami called on President Muhammadu Buhari, who had on Tuesday congratulated Emiko as the new Olu via a statement issued by Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman, not to meddle into customary affairs.
He warned that anyone trying to use the president’s name “to draw ethnic and political colouration to the Olu throne issue should be wary of the danger of such actions”.
The statement read: “Mr. President that I know will not delve into the customary issue of any ethnic group more so when there appears to be unsettled customary discrepancies and contentions. President Muhammadu Buhari that I know does not involve in illegality,” he said.
“It has not come to when he will formally join the rest of the world to mourn and congratulate us.
“We are Itsekiri people and not any other tribe. We will not allow outsiders to come and dictate for us. We have our customs and traditions and the Nigerian constitution evolves from the peoples’ norm, values and tradition.
“I will formally issue a statement on this and will formally brief Mr. President of our tradition at a later date.”