Nestled on the banks of the Warri River, the tranquil cluster of communities known as Ikpisan remained a hidden gem, its true beauty waiting to be discovered by those who ventured into its unassuming territory.
Today marked a momentous occasion as His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse III, the revered leader of the entire Warri kingdom, undertook a historic journey to Ikpisan—a pilgrimage eagerly anticipated by the sons and daughters of this serene community. The atmosphere was filled with songs, dances, and offerings presented to His Majesty as tokens of homage, a testament to the community’s deep respect and appreciation.
While Ikpisan emerges from the shadows of its glorious past as Aya-Olu, weathering the challenges of emigration during the Warri crises of two decades ago, the enduring love and sense of ownership the people have for their homeland remain unwavering. As the Red Boat carrying His Majesty arrived, children from Ikpisan and neighbouring communities lined the path from the jetty to the ceremonial arena, eager to welcome their esteemed Olu of Warri.
The community shared accounts of its illustrious history and current challenges, focusing on their ongoing efforts to restore Ikpisan to its former glory as a hub for commerce and trade. Addressing his children, Ogiame expressed gratitude for the warmth and hospitality extended to him. He encouraged them to persist in their collective endeavour to build a better and more prosperous community.
Before bidding farewell, Ogiame ventured deep into the forests of Ikpisan, accompanied by a throng of followers. There, he blessed the land and waters with prayers, symbolically donating a sum towards the foundation for the community’s rebuilding. The Red Boat has since returned to Ode-Itsekiri, marking the end of this historic visit.