A new king was crowned in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta region and young Nigerians are inspired


1000’s thronged the streets and dignitaries and well-wishers flew in from world wide because the Itsekiri folks of Iwere Kingdom in Delta state topped a brand new king, Ogiame Atuwatse III.

Born Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko, the 37-year-old is the 21st Olu of Warri to ascend the throne and one of many youngest to take action.

The prince has impressed a brand new technology together with his progressive perspective and his speech was the spotlight of the ceremony for a lot of who’ve usually lamented the failures of management within the nation.

In a wide-ranging speech, he referred to as for the area to look “past oil and gasoline.”
Nigeria is the biggest oil-producer in Africa, contributing 86% to the nation’s complete export income.
The Niger Delta, within the southernmost a part of the nation has needed to battle with insurgents, oil spills and air pollution brought on by behemoth power corporations within the area.

“We should look past oil and gasoline, and channel our power in the proper path, in the direction of the endeavors that may end in added worth throughout the board,” he mentioned within the speech.

Many have expectations on the brand new Olu of Warri to set issues in movement to rewrite the narrative of the area.

“The Niger Delta has had both the narrative of air pollution or the narrative of insecurity, and I actually really feel like it is a turning,” Oritsema Jemide informed CNN.

‘Girls not invisible’

The Olu of Warri additionally pledged that ladies could be given company to play an lively function locally.

“We’ll be certain that ladies, each young and old, honored and revered not solely by phrase, however in precise cultural follow.. So I say to our ladies immediately, you’ll not be invisible.”

As is frequent in monarchies, he additionally bestowed new titles on his mom and spouse to be generally known as Iye Olu Atuwatse III and Olori Atuwatse III.

Women dance in a regatta to mark the coronation of Prince Tsola Emiko as the 21st king or the Olu of Warri kingdom and the Ogiame Atuwatse 111 at Ode Itsekiri.
Itsekiri entrepreneur Tara Fela Durotoye attended the coronation ceremony.

She informed CNN residents of Warri, from all stratas of society have been crammed with pleasure on the promise the brand new King brings to his folks.

“​​I noticed folks escape in dance at his look. I noticed folks exclaim… I believe Nigerians are in search of one thing completely different and one thing new, one thing recent. And he represents all of that, in his age, his publicity, his academic background, the pedigree,” she mentioned.

“He introduced a lot to the throne, to see a ahead considering monarch, who understands know-how, who understands entrepreneurship, understands the function of girls. It was such an attractive, lovely expertise and being part of it gave me hope,” Durotoye informed CNN.

Witnessing historical past

Notable leaders together with former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Ooni of Ife, the king of Ile-Ife in South West Nigeria, have been current on the ceremony to pay homage to the Olu of Warri at Ode-Itsekiri, the ancestral residence of the Itsekiris.

Throughout the nation and within the diaspora, many tuned in to native broadcasts and gathered at viewing facilities to witness historical past.

The Itsekiris are an ethnic group who stay within the westernmost a part of the Niger River delta.

Durotoye, informed CNN it was the second coronation she was witnessing, crediting the primary attendance to her father, a historian who ensured his kids have been conversant with their tradition.

“As a younger lady at 10, I attended the coronation [of the immediate past Olu of Warri] and there was a lot love for that king… each residence was speaking concerning the coronation…with completely different actions counting all the way down to his set up because the Olu,” she mentioned.

“Sitting there immediately, as a 44 yr outdated girl, mom of three kids, and attending to take part in and be current at one other coronation in my lifetime was very humbling. “

Hope for the diaspora

Earlier than his speech the Olu of Warri thrilled the viewers together with his rendition of Christian worship songs. Nevertheless, this met with criticism from some quarters who anticipated the monarch to embrace the standard religion of his forebears.

The Olu additionally reversed an ancestral curse, mentioned to have been positioned on Nigeria by his grandfather Olu Erejuwa II.

“As a agency believer within the intricate interconnectedness between the religious and the manifestation within the bodily. It’s our agency perception that the matter must be addressed immediately,” he mentioned.

“Because the religious, cultural, political, and conventional ruler of this land… I hereby reverse the curse and as a substitute, I launch forgiveness and therapeutic to the federal authorities of Nigeria, whose minds was used to propagate that offense.”

Crowning the Oba of Benin Kingdom: tradition 700 years old

For some like Jemide, the brand new period gives hope for Itsekiris within the diaspora that an enabling atmosphere will likely be created for many who want to construct stronger ties with the neighborhood.

“I really feel like this coronation is especially important for me as a result of I’ve been toying with the thought of spending much more time.. constructing a basis..and placing down roots, ” she says.

“It’s totally important to have somebody who’s now on the throne, who I really feel carries a imaginative and prescient for the dominion that may create an enabling atmosphere for these goals.


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