Ogiame Atuwatse III at Ureju CommunityOgiame Atuwatse III at Ureju Community

by David Yomi Tsola Okpaghoro

Today Saturday March 19, Ureju Community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State played host to His Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III, the Olu of Warri. The historic visit is a continuation of activities marking the “Ghigho Aghfen” ceremony introduced by the Olu of Warri Kingdom. Ureju community is one of the five (5) aboriginal communities that make up Warri Kingdom which includes Omadino, Ugborodo, Ode-Itsekiri and Inorin. These communities predated the crowning of the first Olu of Warri Kingdom, Olu Ginuwa I.

It was a day of spectacle of unadulterated culture as the indigenes of Ureju community rolled out drums to welcome their king with rhythmic dance steps. Ureju is the first riverine community Olu Atuwatse III has taken his royal blessings to since he ascended to the throne of his forebears on August 21, 2021. The visit was significant for the following reasons;

  • Creation of a sense of belonging for the people of Ureju community as it showed that Itsekiri recognizes their place and significance in our history as a people.
  • Provides the Olu with a first-hand view of the level of underdevelopment of Ureju community.
  • Aside from Koko town, Ureju became the first riverine community in Warri North LGA the Olu took his blessing to, such that will see the beginning of the development of Ureju community.

His Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III stopped off to inspect the level of work done at the site of the Military Barracks in Obitugbo/Koko community where he had a brief chat with the Army Commanding Officer in Koko Town, Warri North Local Government.

The peoples joy knows no bounds when it was announced that the Billionaire monarch donated the whopping sum of Five Million Naira to the development of Ureju community. Her Majesty, Olori Atuwatse III also out of her benevolence donated the sum of N500, 000 to “Ureju Women Cooperative”.

It would be recalled that the Ghigho Aghofen “also known as The Palace Watch” held at the Palace of the Olu of Warri on December 18, 2021. The event had the oldest Nigerian reigning monarch, the Owhorode of Olomu Kingdom, Richard Layieguen, Ovie Ogoni-Oghoro I, and other Royal Fathers in attendance as the people of Ureju community seized the royal opportunity to showcase their wealth of art, culture and fashion display before the revered monarch. The Ijaws, Urhobos, Binis, Igalas, Yorubas, Hausas also displayed their rich culture and tradition. It was a colourful ceremony.

During the maiden edition of the Ghigho Aghofen, the Monarch stated that he would visit Ureju community being the first aboriginal community that kickstarted the Ghigho Aghofen ceremony before other communities take their turn hence today’s historic visit.

The Olu of Warri was accompanied on the trip by Olori Atuwatse III, Chief Johnson Atserunleghe (Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom), and several other Ojoyes of Warri Kingdom.

By Aliwere