By Jimitota Onoyume, WARRI
NOTABLE Itsekiri Leaders, yesterday, backed the recent abolition of the Ologbotsere title in Warri kingdom by the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, saying only the Olu of Warri gives and withdraws Chieftaincy titles.
The Chairman, Warri Council of Chiefs and Iyatsere of the kingdom, Chief Johnson Amatserunleghe and other prominent chiefs, who spoke to the Vanguard, said there was jubilation across Warri kingdom over the pronouncement.
Amatserunleghe said; “The title, Ologbotsere, belongs to the king. So, it is with all the Chieftaincy titles in Warri kingdom. The Olu of Warri has the right to give and withdraw.
“For the Itsekiri it is a good step. You saw the jubilation in Warri kingdom yesterday. Since the monarch has made the pronouncement it stands.
“The title is not Ayiri’s title. The Ologbotsere descendants have no problem with the monarch or Itsekiri nation. So, it is a good development. For now, the position of Ologbotsere is cancelled.”
Also backing the Olu, the Uwangwe of the kingdom, Chief Gabriel Awala said; “When the king makes a pronouncement it is so.
“You saw jubilation around the town after the pronouncement yesterday. The King has all the titles and he gives and withdraws.”
Also, former Minister of State for Defence, Chief Roland Oritsejafor said; “The Olu has the powers, he chooses Chiefs to work with. Nobody questions that. Again the Ologbotsere family was there when the pronouncement was made. Nothing was done in secret.”
On his part, the immediate past Regent of the kingdom, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, said the Itsekiri have high regard for their king, adding that with the pronouncement on the title of Ologbotsere, nobody can parade himself as holder of the title.
Okotie-Eboh said; “Itsekiri people respect their king. This is not politics, this is a traditional matter.
“The Itsekiri nation protested when Ayiri was nominated for the position of Ologbotsere but after the former king gave him the title, everybody accepted it.
“Nobody opposed the king after he did because we respect the king. It is only a sitting king that gives and takes back titles. We respect the throne.
“A pronouncement has been made and the Itsekiri people are all happy.”
Similarly, Secretary Ginuwa I Ruling House, Prince Isaac Dorsu supported the monarch’s decision.
He said only the Head of Ologbotsere House, Pa Jofotan Oporokunn, can convene a meeting of the Ologbotsere House.
Dorsu said; “We all celebrating the pronouncement yesterday. Well, you all know when Ayiri did not do what he should have done he had to be suspended by the Ginuwa I Ruling House and the Council of Chiefs.
“We are happy with the decision. The monarch has spoken. Even the Ologbotsere family where I belong, we are all happy.”.
An Itsekiri activist, Amechi Ogbitse Ogbonnia, who hailed the pronouncement of the monarch, said: “Today, the title Ologbotsere does not exist.
“If Ayiri parades himself as Ologbotsere, he will be disgraced.”