Ogiame Atuwatse III, the Olu of Warri, hosted the 3rd edition of “Ghigho Aghofen” ceremony on Saturday the 25th of June. The event saw Omadino community replacing Inorin community as the new community with the Ghigho Aghofen mandate. The Ghigho Aghofen holds every 3 months at Aghofen, the Palace of the Olu of Warri in Warri city.
Inorin community has been watching over the palace in the last 3 months when they took over the responsibilities of Ghigho Aghofen from Ureju community on the 26th of March, 2022. It will be recalled that Ogiame Atuwatse III visited Inorin community on the 18th of June 2022 as part of his promise to visit each community responsible for the Ghigho Aghofen. Ogiame Atuwatse III was accompanied into the venue by HRM Matthew Ediri Egbi JP, Owahwa 11, Okobaro of Ughievwen Kingdom.
The 3rd edition of Ghigho Aghofen took place amidst pageantry and fun fair with cultural display from neighbouring tribes and ethnic nationalities residing in Warri Kingdom. Cultural dancers from the Urhobo, Igala, Ilaje, Esan, Yoruba, Ijaw, Akwa Ibom, Isoko and Igbo nations.
The 1st edition of Ghigho Aghofen saw Ureju community being in the Palace from December 2021 to March 2022. With the 3rd edition of Ghigho Aghofen, Omadino community, which is part of the five aboriginal communities that makes up Warri Kingdom will be in the Palace from now until September 2022. This is to enable His Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III to focus on the community and build a robust relationship with the community to understand their pains and issues, including finding ways to solve these issues.
Omadino community is located in Warri South Local Government Area. It is one of the richest communities in Nigeria but is known for their leadership challenges which has stunted development in the community. While presenting facts about Omadino, Pastor Sunny Ayomeretse confirmed that Omadino community is responsible for about 35% of the Crude Oil wealth of Delta State. Omadino community is also one of the oldest communities in Warri Kingdom as they migrated from Ode-Omi in present Ijebu land in Ogun State.
The Itsekiri Health Insurance Program (IHIP) managed by the Itsekiri Trust Fund made a presentation on the programme. They also awarded cards to about 10 recipients of the Itsekiri Health Insurance. Other recipients will be given their cards to access healthcare services in Warri Kingdom.
While addressing the gathering during the event, Ogiame Atuwatse III urged Omadino community to resolve their differences. Ogiame Atuwatse III’s speech is presented below.
“I thank Omadino community for coming in large numbers. I want to use this opportunity to preach peace and unity because there is a lot that is being spoken about the community. Let me remind you that you have a unique opportunity to start again in your community. So a line must be drawn. Many people may feel a sense of indictment and frustration. I appeal to all of you to put those sentiments away and start doing things right. Omadino is a too important community for there to be division and fight”.
“You are on duty till Sept. 24. You will also be on duty when we mark our first coronation anniversary. Hopefully, before the time lapses, we will come to Omadino. We want to see that the factions are dissolved and embrace peace”.
Ogiame said that there was much to achieve with unity, with special reference to Itsekiri Trust Fund.
“As much as possible, we will re-organise ourselves as Itsekiris. We have to exhibit excellence,” he said.
The royal father also thanked Inorin community, the immediate past Ghigho Aghofen (Palace Watch) for doing a great job in the past three months.
Ogiame also thanked the various ethnic nationalities that came to identify with the palace and prayed God to continue to promote peace among them.
“We will enjoy peace in Warri. Never again should we clash over our differences; we will always live together, discuss, agree and be better for it,” he said.
The dignitaries at the ceremony included Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor (General Overseer of Word of Life Bible Church), Chief Francis Omatseye, Chief Omolubi Newuwumi, Chief Eyitemi Diden, Chief Mike Odeli, Chief Patrick D. Yalaju, Chief Oma Eyewuoma, High Chief Tunde Smooth and Hon. Dr. Godwin Ebosa (Managing Director of Awaritse and former Chairman of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC), Solomon Dalung (a former Minister of Youth and Sports), on. Daniel Oritsegbubemi Reyenieju (former member of House of Representatives), Sheriff Oborevwori (Speaker, Delta House of Assembly), Hon. Mathew Opuoru, member representing Warri South Constituency II, Hon. Solomon Igbrakata, member representing Uvwie Constituency, Hon. Guwor Emomotimi (member representing Warri South-West Constituency), Hon. Fred Martins (member representing Warri North Constituency), Hon. Austin Uroye (member representing Warri South Constituency I), Alhaji Shehu Gabam (a National Leader of SDP), Mr Kenneth Gbagi (SDP governorship candidate in Delta), captains of industry, traditional rulers, chiefs and religious leaders, among others.