As a tribe, there has been several Itsekiris that has stood out in the political arena over the life of Warri Kingdom.
Princess Idorolusan (Alias IYE)
The first Itsekiri woman leader and politician (1848-1851)
THE BRITISH APPOINTED GOVERNORS DURING INTERREGNUM
Chief Dore Numa of Odogene (1895-1932 AD)
37 YEARS LEADERSHIP
Omadoghogbone Numa. The long first name was shortened to Dogho or Dore .Paternally, he was a descendant of Olu Erejuwa the first being a son of Numa, who was born by Uwala, a Princess & daughter of Olu Erejuwa the first . Maternally, he was a descendant of Ologbotsere, being a son of Ejuonenowo, who was born by Ogie a son of Ologbotsere. He was brought up and trained by Princess lye (Udorolusan), who was his grand aunty.
Now , Chief Dore Numa was the immediate younger brother of Mene (Omere Ifun) as in same mother & father. Mene was the mother of REWANE JEMIDE DIARE who was the father of Ogbemi, Alfred Ogbeyiwa, Otomewo, Elemi & Akude REWANE.
Rewane aka Isiwere lived in Chief Dores Court with his two sons ( late Ologbotsere & Alfred) at Odogene. He was a British Political Agent (1895-1914), Paramount Chief (1914-1932). Chief Dore was a member of the four member Nigerian Council that administered amalgamated Nigeria in 1914. Chief Dore passed in 1932.
”Eye okan akale tsu gbeye”…. so said Chief Dore Numa . Unueboro . Meaning “ it is in this one life time that one encounters several lifetimes “. Nothing to add baba, nothing to add.
Chief Nana Olomu of Ebrohimi – AGBAMUDU (1884-1894)
10 Years leadership
Chief NaNa was an Itsekiri chief and merchant from the Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria. He was the fourth Itsekiri chief to hold the position of Governor of Benin River.
Nana Olomu the great Nigerian millionaire entrepreneur, nationalist and Itsekiri chief in Accra after his defeat and deportation there.
Nana was respected and feared for his wealth and power, and the Oba of Benin for his suzerainty and juju power. Most Urhobo people did not believe that the Oba could be, and in fact be captured by the white-man, because of their belief in his juju power to transform himself into a spirit.
Nana Olomu was the last of a series of governors that started with the installation of Chief Idiare in 1851 by John Beecroft who was appointed in 1849 by the British Government as Consul for the Bights of Benin and Biafra. Chief Idiare, along with Idibofun, Olomu (Nana’s father), and a host of other elders subsequently signed a treaty with Beecroft to protect trade in the area. Nana succeeded his father, Olomu of Ologbotsere, as governor. It was a historical fact that Numa of Batere Emaye family who was expected to succeed Olomu, is believed to have raised his son, Dogho (Dore Numa), to avenge the disgrace to his family when Nana got the nod. Dogho (Dore Numa) was later to provide valuable help that the British needed to defeat Nana.
Nana’s wealth was an inherited one but he managed to expand his business through his shrewd business acumen by monopolizing trade. As a reflection of the grandeur of his achievements, Nana built a magnificent edifice at the turn of the century. It houses his personal effects and evidence of his contact with the Queen, administrators and traders of the British Empire. Many European Merchants, Missionaries, Explorers and Consular Officers who visited the Benin River in the second half of the last century, and had occasion to meet Chief Nana, had nothing but great admiration for his outstanding personality, intelligence, wealth and hospitality.
His ability to speak the Urhobo language coupled with his liberality won for him the favour of practically all Urhobo traders on the River. He, of course, had enough force to bring to submission any one who was so unreasonably stubborn as to interfere with his trade anywhere. For many years, he concentrated his commercial activities on the Urhobo oil markets until he practically established a perfect monopoly over all the oil markets.
Indeed, Nana was credited with having a fleet of 200 trade canoes and another 100 war canoes with the ability to muster 20,000 war boys. In fact, after his defeat in 1884, the arms seized in Ebrohimi included 106 cannons, 445 blunderbusses, 640 guns,10 revolvers, in addition to 1640 kegs of gunpowder and 2500 rounds of machine gun ammunition (Ikime 1966:41). Therefore, there was no doubt that his impressive military machine, enormous wealth and great influence were critical factors in his virtual monopoly of the palm oil trade.
CHIEF REECE EDUKUGHO
Chief Reece Degbeyin Edukugho was born in 1915 to Degbeyin Edukugho, a timber merchant from Omadino and Princess Alero Egbe from Ugbowangue, in the Warri south local government area. He had his secondary School education in kings college Lagos in the mid 1930’s.
Chief Edukugho was self made millionaire. A produce merchant, a UAC factor and a marine trasporter with businesses across warri, sapele and lagos, etc.
Chief Reece Degbeyin Edukugho was a community leader and a politician of high repute. As a parliamentarian, he was the deputy speaker of the Western House of Assembly when Chief Awolowo was the Premier. His maternal uncle, Asifo Egbe became a lawyer in 1925. He sent his daughter to study law in England in the mid 1950s, Mrs Grace Ogbemi became the first female lawyer in the whole of the Midwestern region. She was called to the Inns of Court in England in 1958.
Chief Reece Degbeyin Edukugho’s traditional title was “Olujuwa-ti-Omadino” Alias. Oshimere Ayojo”.
Chief Reece Edukugho was reputed to be one of the best dressed men of his time. He introduced a native shirt known across the world today as ‘Abere or Edukugho style’ it’s a native shirt without collar but has three pockets and buttons across the front. The style worn by Dr. Tosan Alex Ideh and many other fashionable itsekiri men. Late Chief Okotie Eboh wears the short sleeve version.