Warri, Nigeria, February 7, 2024 — On Wednesday, February 7th, at the historic Olu of Warri Palace in Aghofen Warri, His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse III, CFR, the Olu of Warri, alongside the Itsekiri nation, commemorated 88 years since the end of the interregnum. This significant milestone marked the restoration of the monarchy following the passing of Ogiame Akengbuwa, the 16th Olu of Warri, in 1884.
During the 88-year interregnum, the Itsekiri nation was governed by Itsekiri noblemen known as Governors (Gofine). However, in 1936, Ogiame Ginuwa II was crowned as the Olu of Warri, heralding a new era for the Itsekiri people. Since then, the Itsekiri nation has been led by four other Olus, with this year commemorating 88 years since Ogiame Ginuwa II ascended the throne.
- Olu Ginuwa II (1936 – 1949)
- Olu Erejuwa II (1951 – 1986)
- Olu Atuwatse II CON (1987 – 2015)
- Olu Ikenwoli (2015 – 2020)
- Olu Atuwatse III (2021 – present)
The celebration at Aghofen was a blend of tradition, culture, and unity, highlighted by a captivating performance of the Ighele dance by the Okere community. The Ighele dance, unique to the Itsekiri people of Okere, showcased the rich cultural heritage of the Itsekiri nation and added to the vibrancy of the occasion.
Chief Oma Eyewuoma, the Ologbotsere of Warri, and Chief Engr. Tony Onuwaje flanked Ogiame Atuwatse III, symbolizing the unity and solidarity of the Itsekiri community. Additionally, Chief Omolubi Newuwumi, Chief Mrs. Esther Okotie Eboh, and Chief Engr. Wilson Olley lent their support to the celebration with their graceful dance steps.
In his address, Ogiame Atuwatse III declared that the celebration would become an annual event, reaffirming the significance of the restoration of monarchy in Itsekiri history. His speech emphasized the importance of faith, unity, and progress for the Itsekiri people, invoking themes of grace, new beginnings, and overcoming adversity.
As the Itsekiri nation marks this historic milestone, Ogiame Atuwatse III expressed optimism for the future, envisioning a path of peace, progress, and prosperity. He highlighted the resilience and determination of the Itsekiri people, emphasizing their ability to overcome challenges and embrace new opportunities.
The celebration also served as a reminder of the enduring spirit of the Itsekiri nation and its commitment to upholding its traditions and values. Ogiame Atuwatse III concluded his address with a call for unity and solidarity among the Itsekiri people, echoing the sentiment that together, they can overcome any obstacle and achieve greatness.
As the festivities drew to a close, the Itsekiri community departed with a renewed sense of pride and purpose, inspired by the words and actions of their esteemed monarch. The celebration of 88 years of monarchy restoration served as a testament to the resilience, strength, and unity of the Itsekiri nation, setting the stage for a brighter and more prosperous future.