Written by Sola O’Neil, Port Harcourt and Elo Edremoda, Warri
Olu of Warri Ogiama Ikenwoli is “dissatisfied and is currently receiving medical treatment,” announced the director of his palace’s administration, Chief Clement Maleghemi.
At a press conference in Warri on Tuesday, Maleghemi described reports of the passage of a first-class monarch as speculative.
He said Warri Kingdom Ologbotsers, chief Ayiri Emami, would subsequently inform the public about further developments.
A statement he made available to reporters reads: “The attention of His Majesty’s Palace, Ogiame Ikenwoli, Olu of Warri, has been drawn to news / social media speculations announcing His Majesty’s sudden death.
“We want to inform the general public that His Majesty is in a bad mood and that he is currently receiving medical assistance from a team of qualified medical specialists.
“Any further information on the subject will be released to the general public by the office of the traditional Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Warri, Chief Ayirimi Emami, Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom.”
But the trusted leader of Itsekiri, with a deep knowledge of the work of Aghofen (the palace), told The Nation that the monarch died on Sunday in the presence of a prominent doctor based in Warri.
He said the statement revealing reports of Olu’s death only coincided with Itsekiri’s tradition of not announcing the monarch’s death as soon as it happened.
The source said: “I am not even aware that Olu is not dead. In fact, he can never die; it only passes from one form to another.
“Having said that, let me state that you are not announcing the passage of the monarch Olu of Warri’s status like the status of an ordinary person. There are processes, rituals, and methods that must be applied before this can be officially done. “
A source who asked not to be named explained that it could be up to three months before Ikenwoli’s death is announced.
He added: “Until then, the face of his successor would be known and all traditional rites would be performed either in the process of being performed. This will culminate in breaking the pot with the heart in Ode-Itsekiri (Great Warri). “
Another informed source in the kingdom said that one of the sons of the late monarch or one of Olus’ children was qualified to inherit Ikenwoli.
“The general family will sit down and choose one of his children who is qualified as his successor. If his first son is qualified by birth, he has a good chance, but it is not automatic, “the source added.
It was further learned that the family could only present a prince born to Itsekiri or Bini as a candidate.
He said: “Even after that, the oracle must accept the candidate before the family presents him to Ologbotsere and the Ojoye-in-Council, which would also consult the oracle themselves to determine its acceptance.
“It is a very painstaking process that requires patience and care. That’s why you don’t announce a successor until everything is in place. You cannot announce death until the family and the prophecy choose a successor. “
Despite the Palace’s denial, the news of the monarch’s passage created concern, debate, and postulates in the Itsekira enclaves of Ugbori, Ugbuwangue, Ubeji, Omadino in Warri, and other communities.
Some expressed concern about what Olu’s death foreshadowed the kingdom, while others hoped the report would turn out to be untrue.
One of them said: “The markets are still open and the ceremonies have not stopped. Closing the market and stopping the ceremonies are the signs you see when the monarch dies. “