The traditional title of Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom has been abolished. By implication, erstwhile holder of the title, embattled billionaire businessman, Ayiri Emami, can no longer parade himself as the Ologbotsere. A pronouncement to this effect was made on Tuesday by the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, at a meeting in his palace with the descendants of the Ologbotsere family, the custodian of the title. The Olu directed that the erstwhile holder of the title should no longer be addressed as such across Itsekiri Kingdom and other parts of the world.
However, in his reaction, the recalcitrant Emami reiterated that the Olu had no power to remove him. Ayiri is in court to challenge the choice of the Olu as successor to late Ogiame Ikenwoli, as well as his suspension as the Ologbotsere of Warri by the Ginuwa 1 Ruling House. He stated contemptuously that the title had been a distraction to him.
Ogiame Atuwatse 111 who announced that “We have taken time to ponder and have arrived at our final decision,” directed one of his chiefs, Brown Mene, the Ogwaolusan of Warri Kingdom, to give details of the decisions reached.
Addressing the Ologbotsere descendants led by the head of the family, Pa. Jofotan Oporakun, Mene said “The monarch called you because of the respect he has for the Ologbotsere descendants. It is the king that gives chieftaincy titles. It is also the king that withdraws titles. This is the tradition. There are several of Ologbotsere 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 have been re-admitting and revalidating titles and has also reconstituted the council of Chiefs. Nobody should relate with anyone in the title as Ologbotsere”.
At the meeting with the head of the family, were the secretary general of the family, William L. A. Anukun, Fred Omaghomi, Besidane Esimaje among others. Also in attendance were some of the palace chiefs, including the Iyatsere and Chairman, Warri Council of Chiefs, Johnson Amatserunleghe, who replaced Ayiri as the most senior chief, Eugene Ikomi , secretary general of the council, Gabriel Awala, Mene Brown, Patrick Iralaju, Solomon Arenyeka, and so on.
Reacting to his removal, Emami who spoke to The News Guru, TNG insisted that he did not recognize the Olu as the king.
In his words, “My family and I are meeting on Thursday to discuss the new development. I stand firmly that he (Olu of Warri) is not recognised. The Ologbotsere title in question did not make me. I have achieved all that I am today before becoming the Olotgbotsere some three years ago. In fact, the title is not making me focus on things I should. So it’s not about the title but that due process must be followed in installing a new Olu which was not in this case”.
Ayiri had been suspended as the Ologbotsere and chairman of the Warri Traditional Council during the succession crisis that rocked the kingdom before the coronation of Omoba Tsola Emiko as the Olu. He had opposed the choice of the then Olu-designate on the ground that he was not qualified to occupy the throne.