Rights activist, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has said that Delta State governor, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa, averted crisis in Warri by correcting the initial exclusion of Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse lll, from the traditional councils of Warri South-West and Warri North Local Government Areas in the newly reconstituted state traditional rulers council.

Following a protest by Itsekiri youths over the matter, the state government corrected what was described as an error by listing the Olu of Warri as the prominent monarch in Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North Local Government areas.

Reacting to the development in an open letter to the governor, Lori-Ogbebor, who is the Igba of Warri kingdom, commended Okowa for promptly saving the state from what she called avoidable crisis.

She said: “Thank you Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the quick intervention by averting what was clearly a catalyst for the disruption of the existing fragile peace in Warri. You averted what could have resulted in avoidable calamity in Delta State and Nigeria as a whole.

“The recent publication by the Secretary to the Delta State Government (SSG) on the reconstituted Traditional Rulers Council in Delta State, has caused serious unrest and protest in Warri. This was as a result of the anger among Itsekiri people who felt betrayed by the Delta State government, after series of peaceful forfeitures by the people of Warri kingdom and a sort of threat to the superiority and the authority of the Olu of Warri in the three Warri Local Government Areas .

“I, Chief Rita Lori, was one of the the representatives of the itsekiri people during the movement for creation of Delta State. The agreement was to make the Olu of Warri the permanent Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council. But after the creation of Delta State, the agreement was overturned by the politicians. Again, after the creation of Warri South West LGA, Ogidigben was made the local government headquarters and it was gazetted by the Federal Government. But the state and politicians of the state fraudulently changed the headquarters to Ogbe-Ijaw. In all of these provocative instances, the Itsekiri people have remained peaceful.

“I want to appreciate your effort for your prompt intervention to correct the error in the referred circular by the SSG, because for a few hours, I was disappointed, until you restored our confidence in you. This has saved the state and Nigeria from avoidable bloodshed.

“Once again, thank you for your prompt action. We shall continue to live in peace and unity in Delta State.”


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