Fresh facts have emerged to explain why the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II, accepted to revert to the Ogiame title which he had renounced last week because it means "King of the river". Palace
sources disclosed over the Weekend that it was the Delta State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, who mounted pressure on the eminent monarch to rescind his decision in the interest of peace in his kingdom.
The Itsekiri Warri Kingdom was in turmoil over the decision of the traditional ruler to stop performing the traditional rites of his stool because they are fetish, paganism, idolatry and contrary to his Christian faith.
Youths in the kingdom protested the action and shut the palace gate and asked the monarch to resign the office of "Ogiame". For four days, the palace and the premises of the Olu of Warri were under the guard of armed policemen deployed to the area to stop the protesters and maintain law and order on the directive of the governor.
Uduaghan, who hails from Abigborodo community in Itsekiri kingdom, had returned from Abuja to Warri to appeal to the youths to allow the traditional council to amicably settle the matter.
Before the monarch accepted to honour the Itsekiri traditional culture, a last "white paper" which was to be endorsed by two-thirds of the traditional council of chiefs demanding the dethronement of the monarch came to the knowledge of the governor, who immediately called on the prominent title holders to suspend the action and promised to hold the final peace talks with the Olu of Warri before any drastic measure could be taken.
According to the palace source who sought anonymity, the governor called on Ogiame Atuwatse II and informed him that if he refused to rescind his position on the title of "Ogiame" within two hours of his talks with him, "the traditional council of chiefs would dethrone him through congress".
After the governor's phone conversation with the monarch, it was learnt that the monarch agreed to rescind his decision and High Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor was mandated to brief the press on the development. Thereafter, Lori-Ogbebor led leaders of 112 Itsekiri communities to announce that the traditional ruler had recanted and the crisis had been resolved.
She said the monarch had a wrong perception of the meaning of Ogiame.
Since inception, the Olu dynasty has been linked with Christianity. From the son of Olu Esigie I, the first Olu to embrace Christianity was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church during the missionary era. Christianity was established in Ode-Itsekiri by the Catholics in 1570 AD. He sent his first son to Portugal to study Theology.