Olu of Warri reported dead

Posted by News Express | 6 September 2015 | 4,914 times

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Itsekiri King, Ogiame Atuwatse II, the Olu of Warri, has reportedly joined his ancestors. He was said to have died while on admission at a Lagos hospital. He was 70 years old.

There was heightened anxiety in Itsekiri Kingdom yesterday, over speculations about the state of health of the king after various reports on online platforms had alleged that the renowned monarch had joined his ancestors.

Although there has not been any official confirmation from the Delta State Government, THISDAY said it was able to confirm from the palace and other sources on the demise of the revered monarch.

“The news was being discussed in hushed tones all over the oil-city of Warri and its environs till late last night but nobody seemed to have any concrete facts about the actual cause of the reported transition of the Olu,” the report said.

“The premier Itsekiri monarch had apparently not been in the best of health since he reportedly suffered a minor stroke over two years ago. However, his health seemed to have improved tremendously with the monarch seen at many public functions especially before the last general election in the country,” it added.

THISDAY said it learnt that Atuwatse II was in a Lagos hospital preparatory to being flown abroad for more intense medical care when his condition worsened from a domestic accident he reportedly had recently in Warri, which eventually led to his demise.

“It was further learnt that his stroke had worsened recently following the alleged domestic accident during which he allegedly suffered brain injury,” the paper reported this morning.

Ogiame Atuwatse II ascended the throne of his forefathers on May 2, 1987 during an elaborate ceremony which was recorded as the last official engagement of renowned politician and publisher, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Awolowo died on May 9, 1987, a week after attending the Olu’s coronation in Warri.

“The famous Itsekiri monarch last May celebrated what might be termed low-keyed 28th anniversary of his coronation, choosing to mark the occasion mainly with Christian religious services,” THISDAY recalled.

It noted that his demise is coming on the second anniversary of the celebrated crisis of interest over the alleged “pagan” or fetish etymological background of the royal title of the Itsekiri monarch – Ogiame.

The paper recalled: “The Olu of Warri had, in September 2013, attempted to jettison the traditional title of ‘Ogiame’ because of his Christian beliefs, thereby drawing the ire of practically all his chiefs and subjects.

“However, after several days of peaceful protest by the Itsekiri people demanding that Atuwatse II choose between retaining the title of Ogiame or vacant the royal stool he occupied in trust for the entire Iwere-land (Itsekiri Kingdom), the king eventually capitulated.

“The decision to rescind his earlier plan to do away with the title of Ogiame was greeted enthusiastically by his subjects, leading to wide jubilation in Warri in early September, 2013.”

•Photo shows late Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II.

Source: News Express

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