By Egufe Yafugborhi
WARRI—THE Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, yesterday, disowned some of his subjects “claiming to be representing either the Olu or the Itsekiri people” in recent Niger Delta stakeholders’ gatherings purportedly aimed at resolving renewed militancy in the region.
The Warri monarch, in a statement by Emmanuel Tetsola, Director, Palace Administration, frowned at some Itsekiris linked with the August 19, meeting of stakeholders of Niger Delta Coastal States held in Effurun, Delta State, and the August 25, Abuja, interactions between some Ijaw monarchs and Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu.
He said: “It has come to the knowledge of the Palace of the Olu of Warri that some Itsekiri sons and daughters attending the mentioned meetings are claiming to be representing either the Olu of Warri or the Itsekiri people of Delta State.
“The Palace states categorically that while individuals are entitled to freedom of speech and association, as guaranteed by the Nigeria Constitution, it has not authorised or mandated any person to represent either the Olu of Warri or Itsekiri people at these meetings.
“Consequently, those persons who attended these meetings cannot arrogate to themselves the authority to speak or represent either the Olu of Warri or the Itsekiri people.”
The palace flayed a September 1, statement in which Daniel Reyenieju, member, representing Warri federal constituency in the National Assembly, authenticated Prof. Lucky Akaruese “as one of the persons representing the Itsekiri ethnic nationality at these meetings.
“The Palace denounces it. The general public is put on notice.” Reyenieju’s statement was in reaction to an earlier statement by the Warri Study Group, WSG, condemning the recent coastal states stakeholders’ meeting.