The Chairman, People for Peace and Justice Initiative (PFPAJI) Mr. Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh has appealed to the Itsekiris not to drag the respected Crown of the Iwere nation to the political arena.
He said he was not happy with the way the Crown was being brought into minor issues in recent times, saying he was greatly disturbed by a statement credited to a Prince of the kingdom in some national dailies after the protest that rocked the kingdom recently over the planned installation of Ologbotsere (prime minister) by the Olu of Warri Kingdom.
He also expressed concern over the way the suspended installation of the Ologbotsere has been tagged “politically sponsored by Asaba or Government” by a Prince in the Kingdom, describing the development as sad.
In Warri, Delta State, Mr Okotie-Eboh, a farmer son of Nigerian first Finance Minister, Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, implored all Itsekiris to accord the Crown the deserved honour.
He said that;”I want to appeal to my brothers and sisters not to bring the Crown into the political arena under any condition; we must accord the Crown the deserved respect and refrain from ridiculing the Crown. The act of dragging the Crown into every little issue is so sad. Our neighbours do have some internal issues and they handled them without bringing their Royal Institution into play”.
According to him also; ” Let me make it clear that after God, the next for the Itsekiri man is the Crown and so I am appealing to our Princes and Princesses , Itsekiri Fathers , Mothers, Brothers and Sisters to stop bringing the Crown into the political field as all persons in and outside politics are children of the Crown.
Some lazy politicians are always bringing the Crown into the political space; if you know you are popular, go out there and face the electorate and stop bringing the Crown into political field as it belongs to all Itsekiri Sons and daughters. We should stop making our inter affairs an international affairs”.
He picked holes in a recent interview by a Prince in the Kingdom on why one of the Contenders to the Prime Minister position was dropped at the palace yard, saying that the argument do not hold water.
“Am not satisfied with the reason given by a Prince in the Kingdom in an interview on why one of the Contenders to the Ologbotsere title was dropped at the palace yard, the reason do not hold water.Information making the rounds is that the Chief in question is a full fledged Itsekiri son”, he said.
The Son of the former Finance Minister also said that;”We once had an Ojomo of Warri whose mother was an Itsekiri and a foreigner as a father , which is also a family title like Ologbotsere so what is the problem with the Chief disqualified who is a complete Itsekiri man and again if the community leaders who took the names of Chief Ayiri Emami and that of Chief Oma Eyewuma to the Olu knew that he was not qualify for that title why did they need to add that to the names of the contenders , when the Olu asked them to go back and return in a week with one name instead of the two they brought”
In his words also;” From that interview, they went out there in the palace yard and came back with just one name instantly, that one week is too much and that the other person was now disqualified because he is maternally from the villages, if they knew the other Chief was not qualify why did they bother to bring that name they feels is not qualified along because from their actions they already made up their minds on Chief Ayiri Emani, saying that they do not need seven days and to them it is a waste of time to go and return in seven days and they were able to waste the time of itsekiri nation because by wasting the time of the Crown, you are Wasting the time of all the Itsekiris.
These are things capable of bringing problems to our beloved Olu and kingdom , they should have spared our monarch, the Olu of Warri all those times wasted”.
“We have many Chiefs with important titles in the kingdom who are paternally Foreigners, for instance, Chief Anthony Empson Ofoni, the Ojomo of Warri Kingdom, Chief B.K. Sutherland, Chief Auther Prest and Chief Atakes whose father was from Orogun, an Urhobo, he did well for the Itsekiri nation .
Again we had prominent Itsekiri sons who were not Chiefs who did very well for the Itsekiri nation, Mr Alfred Rewane , Pa Joseph Ayomike and so you do not need to be a Chief for you to promote the progress of Itsekiri nation, they did very well without being chieftaincy holders”, Mr Okotie-Eboh added.
According to him;”I am very sure that between the reign of Atuwatse 11 and our present Olu, we have over Seventeen Chiefs.These Chiefs are enough to take the workload off our Olu.They should help out with minor things affecting the youths and the famous Itsekiri Regional Council (IRDC) can be handled by them, but they have to be fair , because God is watching.
For peace to reign we must learn to look at the message and not the messenger, then find solutions to the message . During the reign of Atuwatse 11, there was a protest over plan to change the name Ogiame ,but our Chiefs were able to resolve it and peace was restored and no one tagged it political. Let there be peace in Iwere nation”.