Okere community at 8th Edition of Ghigho AghofenOkere community dancers

The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse, CFR, hosted the 8th edition of Ghigho Aghofen at the Olu of Warri Palace (Aghofen) on December 16, 2023. This grand occasion marked the transition of responsibility from Ikpisan community, which diligently watched over the Palace since August 2023, to Okere community, another venerable Itsekiri community poised to uphold the tradition for the next three months. Okere community were led by Chief Felix Esisi (Ogieboro and the Olare-Aja of Okere community) alongside other Palace Chiefs with Okere ancestry, members of the Ogieboro in Council, and men, women, youths and children dressed in a beautiful green wrapper and cream coloured kemije and blouse.

Okere community at 8th Edition of Ghigho Aghofen8th edition of Ghigho Aghofen

The event showcased a spectacular array of cultural displays, bringing together the diverse ethnic groups residing in and around the Warri Kingdom. Ikpisan and Okere communities presented vibrant Itsekiri performances, demonstrating the richness of their cultural heritage. Okere community also presented the Ighele dance which is unique to Okere community as it is the song to praise Ekpenede, the founder of Okere community. This dance presentation involves theatrical performance that tells the story of the great warrior Ekpenede, who was sent to bring back Ogiame Ginuwa I, the first Olu of Warri. Additionally, the Igbo community in Warri, Urhobo dance group, Ilaje dance group, Hausa dance group, Benin dance group, and the Yoruba community contributed to the cultural mosaic, creating a harmonious celebration of unity and diversity.

As Ikpisan gracefully exited their watch over the Palace, the atmosphere was charged with gratitude and a sense of continuity. Ogiame Atuwatse III expressed his appreciation for Ikpisan’s dedicated service and welcomed Okere community with open arms, entrusting them with the honourable task of entertaining special guests of the Olu of Warri.

Upcoming Communities for Ghigho Aghofen in 2024:

  1. Efurokpe community – March 23, 2024
  2. Orugbo community – June 15, 2024
  3. Oboghoro community – September 28, 2024
  4. Ogheye Eghoroke – December 21, 2024

The event attracted a constellation of dignitaries, including prominent Palace Chiefs such as Chief Gabriel Awala (Uwangue of Warri Kingdom), Chief Engr Anthony Onuwaje (Otsodi of Warri Kingdom), Chief Gilbert Temisan Grant (Aguraotiri of Warri Kingdom), Chief Kofi Kartey (Abolujiyan of Warri Kingdom), Chief Brown Mene (Ogwaolusan of Warri Kingdom), Chief Felix Esisi (Olare-Aja of Okere), Chief Francis Ọmatsẹye (Ẹdigbe of Warri Kingdom), Chief Billy Bẹsigiwa (Ọsọlọ of Warri kingdom), Chief Edwin Eyitemi Olley (The Agbaramẹ of Warri kingdom), Chief Prest Uduẹyin (The A-ko-inọ-tse-ọkan of Warri kingdom), Chief Ọmọlubi Nẹwuwumi (The Ọmatamud’ẹyin of Warri), Chief Eyitemi Arthur-Didẹn (The Idẹ-ọfẹnẹ of Warri), Chief (Dr.) Joseph Sisanmi Otumara (The Ọbaretsuwa of Warri), Chief Solomon Arenyeka (The Ẹsọn of Warri Kingdom), Chief (Dr.) Eugene Abidemi Ikomi (The Olulaye of Warri), Chief (Mrs.) Esther Okotie-Ẹboh (The Iye of Warri), Chief (Dr.) Godday Tony Ẹrewa (The Oritsuwa of Warri), Chief (Sir) Ọmasan Isaac Temile (The Olujuwa of Warri), Chief Isaac Ajatitọn (The Olunotiti of Warri), Chief Samuel K. Omẹbẹyinjẹ (The Ọlugbo of Warri), Chief (Dr.) Wilson Olley Ẹdun (The Aboludero of Warri).

Other distinguished guests included His Excellency, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan (former Governor of Delta State), Hon. Austine Uroye (Member representing Warri South Constituency 1 in the Delta State House of Assembly), Hon Fred Martins (Member representing Warri North Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly), Comrade Oritseweyinmi Agbateyiniro (Delta State Honourable Commissioner for Youth Development), among many other illustrious Itsekiri sons and daughters.

The 8th edition of Ghigho Aghofen not only celebrated the cultural tapestry of the Warri Kingdom but also highlighted the spirit of community and tradition that binds its diverse inhabitants together. As the torch passes to Okere community, the anticipation for future editions of this cherished tradition continues to grow, promising more moments of unity and cultural brilliance for the Warri Kingdom.

Long live Okere community

Long live Warri kingdom

Okere community has the slogan: Ogun gba ja Okere…. O d’ola

By Aliwere