• I still remain Ologbotsere —Ayiri
Reactions and counter reactions have trailed the disrobing of Chief Ayiri Emami as the Ologbotsere of Itsekiri-Warri kingdom.
Congress recalled that the Olu of Itsekiri-Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, yesterday, abolished the traditional title of Ologbotsere in Itsekiri kingdom.
The paramount ruler, however instructed that the erstwhile bearer of the title should no longer be addressed as such across Itsekiri kingdom and other parts of the world.
But in a quick response, Chief Emami stated that he remained the Ologbotsere of Itsekiri-Warri kingdom.
It was gathered, the monarch made the pronouncement in the presence of the Ologbosere descendants which was invited to the meeting in the palace.
The Olu’s memo which was Read by Chief Brown Mene said: “It is the respect the monarch has for the Ologbotsere descendants that is why he called you. It is the king that gives chieftaincy titles. It is also the king that withdraws titles. This has been the tradition.
“There are several Ologbotsere’s children that are chiefs. The Ologbotsere family is very dear 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 revalidating titles and has also reconstituted the council of Chiefs. Nobody should relate with anyone in the title as Ologbotsere.”
Among 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, O.J. Nana and Mr. Samuel B.O Okorodudu.
He said: “We have taken time to ponder and have arrived at our final decision.”
Among Chiefs that were also present were the most senior Chief, the Iyatsere and Chairman Warri Council of Chiefs, Johnson Amatserunleghe, Gabriel Awala, Mene Brown, Patrick Iralaju, Maleghemi A, Eugene Ikomi, and Solomon Arenyeka.
Others in attendance were some princes of the kingdom Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh who carried on as Regent before the emergence of Ogiame Atuwatse III, Olu of Warri.
It was learnt the Olu suspended Ayiri Emami as Ologbotsere over several reasons which included alleged abuse of the title.
But in a counter reaction, Ayiri Emami said he is still Ologbotsere. He noted: “My response is straight. I don’t recognize him as Olu because the process was not followed. We are in court already and I am instituting a fresh suit.
“He does not know the tradition and culture of Itsekiri, so also many of those with him. So I don’t recognize him as the king.
“I am still the Ologbotsere. A Justice in the old Bendel State said the worst you can do if you don’t want an Ologbotsere is to behead him. So he does not have the powers to remove an Ologbotsere.”
But when reporters reminded him (Ayiri) that the monarch’s late father, Ogiame Atuwatse II, had no Ologbotsere during his reign, Ayiri said the monarch inherited one but chose not to have another one after the one he met passed on.
He added: “But in this case I am alive. So I cannot be removed and I don’t recognize him as Olu of Warri.
“The Ologbotsere descendants will meet on Thursday this week.” He, however, did not disclose the agenda of the meeting.