By Jimitota Onoyume
*Insist others should steer clear of Itsekiri’s internal affair
Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, ILoT, the apex Itsekiri body has assured that all differences around succession to the throne of Olu of Warri would be resolved amicably.
The Chairman, Chief Edward Ekpoko told Saturday Vanguard yesterday that the apex Itsekiri platform had been meeting with all stakeholders to ensure that all issues were resolved, stressing that whatever were the differences would soon be resolved.
His words: “The Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, ILoT under my leadership, is engaging in mediation to resolve this matter amicably. We are not known for this kind of thing in the media, what has been out is not pleasing to the average Itsekiri person. We are known for doing our things in an orderly and peaceful way. It is still not out of place to get things right. We are meeting with the critical stakeholders, meetings are ongoing. Everything is positive. In the next couple of days everything will be resolved to the disappointment of our detractors, those who don’t want peace in Warri kingdom.
READ ALSO: Herdsmen chase Nigerians into Benin Republic
“This is purely an Itsekiri affair, so we don’t want any external interference. We are on top of the development. We have the ears of all the aggrieved parties. Let me repeat that others should not interfere, this is purely our affair. We will resolve it, they should mind their business. There have been meetings in the last two days and more have been slated for the weekend, all towards resolving our differences. We are in touch with all critical stakeholders, the Ologbotsere and all others”.
He confirmed that the Ologbotsere descendants were meeting yesterday in Sapele saying, “Yes, I am one of them. I am a prominent member of the body. I am unable to be there due to other engagements. Our people are there, some members of the ILoT are there. It is all towards amicable resolution like I said earlier “
On the issue of the Edict which some people were insisting on, Chief Ekpoko said, “we will not comment on this for now. It has been the issue of contention as you know, since we are mediating, let us not bring in matters that are controversial. We will achieve the desired end. Itsekiris have a sweet way of doing our things, we will cross over all these things. We will get over all these quickly.
It was gathered that Chief Ayiri Emami was at the meeting of the Ologbotsere descendants in Sapele yesterday where it was decided among others that effort should be made to resolve all differences soonest.
A top source at the meeting who spoke to Saturday Vanguard on condition of anonymity said the suspension of Chief Ayiri as Ologbotsere was rejected.
“Chief Ayiri was at the meeting. The Ologbotsere descendants rejected the purported suspension of Chief Ayiri Emami. The Ologbotsere title is a family title, any perceived wrong doing by the Ologbotsere ought to be brought to the attention of the family. To do otherwise is to act in total disregard to the sensibilities of the family and to undermine the family”, the source said.
It will be recalled that the Regent of Warri kingdom, Chief Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh had announced suspension of Chief Ayiri as Ologbotsere at a press briefing in front of the palace of the Olu of Warri recently over alleged abuse of office. Chief Ayiri on his part had continued to dismiss the suspension, saying only the Olu can suspend him, adding that he had never abused his office.