1000’s of individuals in conventional crimson and white apparel thronged to the riverine neighborhood of Ode-Itsekiri in southern Nigeria’s oil hub Warri on Saturday to witness the ascension of their new king.
The king or Olu of Warri is without doubt one of the most necessary conventional rulers in Nigeria, reigning over a kingdom relationship again to the fifteenth century with a buying and selling hub and seaport as soon as utilized by Portuguese and Dutch slave retailers.
Nigeria’s kings and emirs maintain no official political powers, however they wield monumental affect as custodians of non secular and cultural heritage in Africa’s most populous nation which has greater than 300 ethnicities.
The brand new King, Omo Oba Utienyinoritsetsola Emiko, 37, ascended the throne because the twenty first Olu of Warri on the ceremony in Ode-Itsekiri, his folks’s ancestral dwelling.
The US-educated prince was topped by conventional chiefs of the traditional city within the presence of ministers, governors, senators, non secular leaders and diplomats.
After the crown was positioned on his head, the kingmakers bowed to pay hommage to the brand new king to applause from the ecstatic crowd of onlookers.
The brand new king, now formally referred to as Ogiame Atuwatshe III of Warri kingdom, urged Itsekiri to help him, as friends got shows of music, dancing, acrobatics and a ship regatta.
“We strongly imagine the reign of King Emiko will usher in peace, progress and growth in Warri kingdom,” retired civil servant Felix Agbeyegbe, instructed AFP, carrying a black hat with white and crimson clothes.
The 77-year-old, who has witnessed the ascension of three Olu of Warri, described the brand new king as “a toddler of future who ought to be supported to succeed”.
Emiko rose to the throne after the loss of life of the previous king, his uncle, however his ascension was not with out controversy. Some conventional leaders disagreed as a result of his mom isn’t from Itsekiri.
Rumours of a cancellation of his coronation additionally emerged after native media reviews his conventional crown, the image of authority, was lacking.
Two sons of the late king have been reportedly invited for questioning by the police over the matter.
“The dispute has been resolved because the crown has been discovered,” a palace supply instructed AFP. “Prince Emiko will obtain his crown.”
In a message, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari urged the brand new king to place the controversy surrounding his emergence behind him and to work for his folks.
Streets and corners in Warri and its environs have been adorned with festive banners and buildings, workplaces and markets have been embellished with white and crimson, the image of the Itsekiri.
Safety was heavy and police helicopters hovered over the city.
Warri businessman Jolomi Otiri, 32, hoped the king “along with his pedigree, will appeal to extra growth to the city”.
However he urged the king “to unite all of the little children of Warri no matter their non secular and political affiliations and beliefs.”