The Olu of Warri Kingdom is the Supreme Authority in Warri Kingdom. Historically, Warri Kingdom has been ruled by 21 Olu of Warri Kingdom (Ogiame). Below is a list of the rulers of the Warri Kingdom from inception. Note that written records began with the coronation of Olu Atorongboye Sebastian I in 1570.
1. Olu Ginuwa (Iginuwa, 1480 AD)
Olu Ginuwa was the Prince from Benin Kingdom who arrived Itsekiri land in present day Ijala in an ark and later became the first Olu of Warri around 1480. He was the eldest son of Oba Olua of Benin Kingdom and the heir apparent to the throne of the Benin Kingdom until he migrated to Warri, where he was later crowned.
He was received by the Itsekiri people and married Urowoli from Ureju. He ruled the Warri Kingdom from 1480 to around 1510.
He was buried at Ijala community and a tree planted in his honour.
2. Olu Ijijen (Ogbowuru, 1510 to 1525)
He succeeded his father Ogiame Ginuwa. His elder brother died before his father and he was crowned as the 2nd Olu after the demise of his father, Ogiame Ginuwa. His mother was Urowoli from Ureju Community.
He increased the trade with the Portuguese and this helped to strengthen the growing Warri Kingdom.
He was also buried at Ijala like his father and a tree planted in his honour.
2. Olu Irame (1525 to 1549)
He succeeded his brother Ogiame Ijijen (Ogbowuru) as the 3rd Olu of Warri. He was also born to Urowoli from Ureju Community.
He built the military capacity of Warri Kingdom during his reign and helped to facilitate the expansion of the Kingdom.
As is now customary, a tree was also planted in his honour at Ijala when he was buried.
4. Olu Ojoluwa (1550 to 1570)
He succeeded his father Ogiame Irame as the 4th Olu of Warri. During his reign, he commenced the process of integration of the Ekpen’s/Ekpenede, descendants of Okere with the local population of the Warri Kingdom.
It was during his reign that the coronation boat regatta commenced as this was part of activities to mark his coronation.
He received the Portuguese Christian priests of the Augustine Order but was non-committed to the Christian message.
A tree was planted after his demise and this was the 4th tree planted in honour of the Olu of Warri.
5. Olu Esigie (1570 to 1596)
He succeeded his father Ogiame Ojoluwa as the 5th Olu of Warri Kingdom. He was more accommodating to the Portuguese Christian priests but didn’t commit to becoming a Christian.
He gave his blessings for his son, Prince Eyomasan to take Portuguese language lessons and be baptised with the name Sebastian.
He maintained trade with the Portuguese and continued to expand the influence of Warri Kingdom.
A tree was also planted as part of his burial rites after his demise.
6. Olu Atorongboye (AKA, Olu Sebastian, 1597 to 1624)
Olu Atorongboye succeeded his father, Olu Esigie as the 6th Olu of Warri and also the first Christian Olu of Warri Kingdom.
He was born Prince Eyomasan (Eyeomasan) and was crowned Olu Atorongboye or Olu Sebastian. He was formally educated by the Portuguese and was the first Olu to bear a Portuguese name.
Like his father, he accepted for his son to be educated outside Nigeria and be baptised in the Christian faith. He had a strong tie with King Philip II of Spain, who ruled Portugal at the time. This relation led to him sending his son to study in Coimbra, Portugal from 1600 to 1611. He and all future kings were awarded the title of Dom (D.).
He further expanded the Warri Kingdom and increased trade with the Portuguese. Upon his death, a tree was planted in his honour at Ijala.
7. Olu Atuwatse I (1625 to 1644)
He succeeded his father. He was initially home schooled by his father and the Bishop in Ode-Itsekiri, which resulted in him being able to read and write in Portuguese. He was later educated in Coimbra, Portugal from 1600 to 1611.
He returned as a graduate, making him the first graduate in Sub Saharan Africa. Olu Dom Domingos was the first to marry a noble Portuguese lady, that came with him in 1611.
8. Olu Oyenakpagha (1645 to 1653)
He succeeded his father. On ascension to the throne he was named Obanighenren which translates to “Prince/King with the golden skin”. He had the name D. Antonio Domingos.
He wrote a letter to Pope Clement X in 1652 which was delivered to the Pope successfully. He was educated at home and at an institute in Angola. Like his father, he married a Portuguese lady
9. Olu Omoluyiri (1654 to 1674)
He succeeded his brother as the 9th Olu of Warri Kingdom. He was also known by the name D. Matias Ludovico.
10. Olu Abejoye (Abejioye, 1674 to 1700)
He succeeded his father Olu Omoluyiri as the 10th Olu of Warri Kingdom. He reigned for about 25 years.
He was also known as Louis or D. Luigi.
11. Olu Akenjoye (Akenjioye, 1701 to 1709)
He succeeded his father Ogiame Abejoye as the 11th Olu of Warri Kingdom. As a prince he was known as Dom Ludivico Domingo.
12. Olu Omagboye (1709 to 1730)
He succeeded his father as the 12th Olu of Warri Kingdom. He was also referred to as D. Miguel.
13. Olu Akengboye (1730 to 1734)
He succeeded his father Olu Omagboye as the 13th Olu of Warri Kingdom. He was also referred to as D. Agostinho Sabastião Octobia.
14. Olu Atogbuwa (1734 to 1760)
He succeeded his father Olu Akengboye as the 14th Olu of Warri Kingdom. He was also referred to as D. Manuel Octobia.
15. Olu Erejuwa I (1760 to 1795)
He succeeded his father as the 15th Olu of Warri Kingdom. He was also known as D.Sebastião Manuel Octobia.
16. Olu Akengbuwa (1795 to 1848)
He succeeded his father as the 16th Olu of Warri Kingdom. He was the last ruling king of the Itsekiri and the last Catholic Olu.
A period of crisis (1848 to 1851)
This was a period of crisis after the demise of Olu Akengbuwa and the succession crisis that followed which led to all the princes and princesses leaving Ode-Itsekiri for their safety.
Political Interregnum (1851 to 1936)
This period was characterised by the absence of an Olu. After the death of Olu Dom Eyeolusan João Akengbuwa there was a dynastic crisis following the death of all the potential successors which was followed by a period of political Interregnum. His son Prince Oritsemone left Ode-Itsekiri during the period of the crisis to form the Usele Community.
Restoration of Oluship (February 1936)
17. Ginuwa II (1936 to 1949)
Ginuwa II was a great grandson of Olu Akengbuwa, the last Olu of Warri before the interregnum who died in 1848. He was crowned in 1936 after an interregnum that lasted 88 years when Warri’s political leadership was dominated by merchant princes.
Ginuwa II is the 17th Olu of Warri Kingdom and ruled from 1936 to 1949 before he joined his ancestors.
18. Erejuwa II
He was the Olu of Warri from 1951 to 1964 and from 1966 to 1987. He was deposed in 1964 and after the military coup of 1966, he was reinstated to the throne.
He was the 18th Olu of Warri Kingdom with the title Ogiame Erejuwa II. He succeeded his father Ginuwa II as Olu.
19. Ogiame Atuwatse II
Olu Atuwatse II was Olu of Warri from 1987 to 2015. He was the 19th Olu of Warri Kingdom with the title Ogiame Atuwatse II. He was born Godwin Toritseju Emiko. He succeeded his father Erejuwa II as the Olu of Warri. He was a lawyer by profession and was a recipient of the Commander of the Niger (CON) award from the Nigerian Government. He joined his ancestors in 2015.
20. Ogiame Ikenwoli
Ogiame Ikenwoli was crowned Olu of Warri on the 12th of December 2015 after the death of his brother Olu Atuwatse II.
He was born 19th of March 1955 to Ogiame Erejuwa II and Olori Eyinagboluwade Emiko.
Before ascending the throne, he was addressed as Ikenwoli Godfrey Emiko. He was the 20th Olu of Warri.
21. Ogiame Atuwatse III
Ogiame Atuwatse III succeeded his uncle Ogiame Ikenwoli who joined his ancestors in December 2020.
He was crowned on the 21st of August 2021 at a very colourful coronation event.
He is the son of the 19th Olu, Ogiame Atuwatse II. He is the 21st Olu of Warri Kingdom.
Long may he reign. Ogiame Suooooo!!!