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Egbema youths lambaste Chief Ariyo over inflammatory comments, warn against moves to ridicule Egbema traditional stool

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•Say Ogiame Atuwatse lll not sole traditional ruler in Warri North

• Appeal to Delta govt to call Ariyo, Itsekiri Liberation group to order

By Timi Black
Chief Correspondent

The Youth Council of Egbema Kingdom in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State has faulted an inimical statement by chief Ariyo of the Itsekiri Liberation group, describing the Ogiame Atuwatse lll as sole traditional ruler in Warri North Local Government Area.

The statement was contained in a press release signed by Chief Pastor Tilikiwei,
The Ibebenimowei of Egbema kingdom, on behalf of Egbema Youth Council (EYC) which was sent to Congress correspondent on Wednesday night.

Congress recalled that Chief Ariyo, leader of Itsekiri Liberation group had said the exclusion of the name of the Egbema Monarch in recent reconstituted Delta state traditional rulers council means that Ogiame Atuwatse III is allegedly the sole traditional ruler in Warri North Council Area.

According to the Ijaw group: ” We strongly protest this gross misinterpretation of Government’s publication for the following reasons:

“First, the demise of our former king, HRM G.O.E. Tiemo (JP, AmbP), the Pere of Egbema Kingdom which was announced on December 3, 2020, necessitated the inauguration of a Regency Council headed by High Chief Johnbull Adaun, JP, to steer the affairs of the kingdom pending the installation of a new traditional ruler (Pere) for the kingdom.

“We are still in the process of selecting a traditional ruler to be presented to the State Government for the presentation of Staff of Office. Egbema is an autonomous kingdom, and has never been and will never be under the control of another traditional ruler.

“We believe the exclusion of the Pere of Egbema Kingdom on the list of members of the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers as reconstituted by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, does not mean that the Ogiame Atuwatse III is the sole traditional ruler in Warri North, as erroneously claimed by Chief Ariyo and his Itsekiri group.

“Secondly, prior to the demise of the former Pere, he was a member of the State Council of Traditional Rulers, and we believe that when we conclude the process of crowning another Pere, the new Pere of Egbema Kingdom shall be included in the State Council of Traditional Rulers.

The Egbema youth Council in a statement tiled: THE EGBEMA YOUTH COUNCIL OF EGBEMA KINGDOM, WARRI NORTH LGA, DELTA STATE, SAYS OGIAME ATUWATSE III IS NOT SOLE TRADITIONAL RULER IN WARRI NORTH LGA, AS ERRONEOUSLY CLAIMED BY CHIEF ARIYO OF ITSEKIRI LIBERATION GROUP said it would resist moves by clandestine and mischievous people to ridicule the highly revered traditional throne of Egbema people.

The group further asserted: “The attention of the Youth Council of Egbema Kingdom in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, has been drawn to the wrong interpretation given to the Delta State Government publication of the names of Royal Fathers in the reconstituted Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, in which the name of the Pere of Egbema Kingdom was not included.

The statement read partly:” We, therefore, declare that the wrong message published in the social media on this issue as an affront on the status and dignity of the ancient kingdom of Egbema people in Warri North LGA.

“We also see the publication as another attempt by a section of Itsekiri nation to fan the embers of disunity and crisis in Warri North where the Ijaw and Itsekiri people have been living side by side in peace, over the years.

“Consequently, we request our peace loving Governor of Delta State, His Excellency Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to prevail on Chief Ariyo and his mischievous Itsekiri group to immediately retract the said publication of wrong interpretation of a well-constituted Council of Traditional Rulers by the State Government without further delay”, they asserted.

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