Invited Dignitaries Boycott Olu Of Warri First Coronation Anniversary
LAGOS DECEMBER 13TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Several invited dignitaries were on Monday conspicuously absent at the one year coronation anniversary of the Olu of Warri.
The event held at Ode-Itsekiri ancestral palace of the monarch, Warri North council area was scanty of prominent invited guest except a number of Itsekiri sons and daughters.
Report says no traditional ruler within the state or outside Delta state attended the event. Besides Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who sent the Commissioner for Women Affair, Omashola Williams, an Itsekiri to represent him at the event, no government official attended the ceremony.
Marine expert, Chief Tunde Smooth, an Ijaw was the only recognised guest who is not an Itsekiri that graced the occasion held across the Warri river. Representatives of Shell Petroleum Development Company as well as Chevron Nigeria Limited also shunned the occasion.
No reason was given for the absence of those invited for the occasion.
Despite the embarrassing situation which sources blamed on the organisers of the event, the ceremony however went smoothly with a good number of Itsekiris who file out in obeisance to the revered monarch.
Addressing his people, the monarch, His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwole said that his transformation agenda for the kingdom was well on course.
“The last one year has been both interesting and intriguing. Not withstanding, the most interesting challenge we have had to face have been internal to us as Itsekiri. But the vision I outlined one year ago is still intact and on course.
“This vision represent positive change and a clear departure from the vagaries and manipulation by few individuals to a broader based Itsekiri poject and program anchored on participatory partnership with every Itsekriri man and woman. This is what I represent”, the monarch stated.
He noted that many Itsekiri communities were engulfed in various conflicts traced to leadership tussle, adding that he has established a Conflict Resolution Committee at the palace to deal with these issues as he may in rare cases personally intervene in escalated situations.
The monarch said he has built robust relationship with his neighbour since enthronment. “I believe we have made great strides in this direction. To us we should no longer be defined by tribes, tongues and negative dogma but by our collective will to live in peace and harmony, he said.
The monarch used the occasion to appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the commencement of work on the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) project in Ogidigben, Warri South-West Local Government area, Delta state.
The $16 billion Dollar EPZ project, inaugurated by immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan March 26, 2015, has been laying fallow since its much publicised ground breaking ceremony.
Apart, he appealed to Buhari to open up the Delta Ports to create employment and check youth restiveness while also imploring Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration in Delta state as well as federal and state interventionist agencies in Delta to show more commitment to development of Itsekiri land.
The monarch called on SPDC which have divested its operation in the state in 2012 to return and commended Chevron Nigeria Limited for remaining in business in face of daunting challenges, particularly insecurity.