Itsekiri indigenes protest, call on AIG to hands off chieftaincy matter
Posted by News Express | 7 May 2021 | 472 times
By SUYI AYODELE, Benin
Itsekiri people in their hundreds on Friday staged a peaceful protest to the office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG, Zone 5, Benin City, asking the police to halt the investigation into the Olu of Warri kingship matter and allow the Itsekiri nation to resolve the matter amicably.
The protesters, drawn from different age grades in the Kingdom, noted that the continued involvement of the police in the purely traditional matter hampered the peaceful resolution of the crisis.
Carrying different placards with inscriptions, they denounced the interference of the police, saying such betrayed the aged tradition of the Itsekiri at resolving disputes among brothers.
David Iwere, one of the leaders of the protesters, said: “We are here as Itsekiri we are tired of our matter being in the media all the time, what is happening in Itsekiri has never happened before we are here to appeal to the AIG to send all the chiefs home and give them a time to come back and report the settlement they have made.”
Also speaking, Mrs Okhere Amaju said “We are here as a group, we want peace, we are tired of crisis. We have come to appeal that they should take the matter back home and we can settle ourselves. Itsekiri issue is not for the police we are a people with culture and tradition, we need to go and resolve our issues at home. We need peace in Itsekiri.”
Corroborating the position, Samuel Khalil appealed to all the chiefs and the ruling house to give peace a chance while on his part, Scott Anwani said “We have gone round to most of the chiefs in Warri kingdom and other stakeholders who are involved in all these issues. We have met one on one, letting them know why we must ensure that there is peace in Itsekiri nation.
They are our leaders, we are not supposed to be divided; the Ologbotshere, the Iyatsere, the Uji, Uwangue, the ruling house, the chiefs, they should all come to a round table and resolve this matter and make peace so that we can be happy.”
In his response, the Zone 5 Police Public Relations Officer, Tijani Momoh, said the request of the demonstrators would be conveyed to the AIG.
The transition of the past Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli in December 2020, created a succession tussle among the palace chiefs, the ruling house and the suspended Ologbosere, Ayiri Emami, who was accused of masterminding the disappreance of the over 400-year old Itsekiri Kingdom.
Though Prince Tsola Emiko has been chosen as the Olu designate (Omoba), the supremacy crisis between the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Johnson Atserunleghe and Emami, with the Iyatsere, insisting that the suspension of Olognosere subsisted.
With a petition to the AIG by the Itsekiri Kingdom on the matter, Emami was invited and questioned by the police in relation to the missing crown, an allegation he denied.
The police, however, last Friday recorded a major breakthrough in the matter as the Police in AIG, office succeeded in retrieving the keys to the room where the missing 400-year old Itshekiri crown and other symbols of the Kingdom’s authority, are kept by those who moved them from the palace.
The police, it was gathered achieved the breakthrough during the third peace parley between the Iyatsere, Atserunleghe, and the suspended Ologbotsere, Emami. (Nigerian Tribune)