By Ogbe Sammy (Warri)
It is no longer news that the Olu of Warri, Atuwatse lll celebrated one year on the throne recently.
The week long programme which climaxed with thanks- giving on Sunday, 21st August, 2022 in his palace in Warri, Warri South Local Government Delta State, show-cased foot ball match, free gift items to people- indigens and non- indigens alike, was attended by sons and daughters of the soil and other dignitaries from all walks of life including the Governor of Delta State and Vice President to 2023 Presidential PDP flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, the former Delta State Governor, Chief James lbori, the Deputy Senate President and All Progressive Congress Governorship flag bearer, Senator Ovie- Omo Agege, among others.
Investigations revealed that since Ogiame Atuwatse Ill assumed the throne, itsekiri as a nation has witnessed unprecedented growth and development.
In his one year in office, Ogiame Atuwatse Ill has been able to unite the people thus enthroning unity and peace among the people.
Under one year, he has organised a free medical care programme not only for his people but the neighborhood.
Many of the people could not hide their feelings as they talked extensively on the good attributes of the king.
Chief Michael Olley, Eyetimi, the Eni of Warri Kingdom described the king as a man who has brought great growth and development to not only Itsekiri nation, but Delta State, Niger Delta and the country as a whole.
He added: “l will say, the reign of Ogiame Atuwatse Ill has brought great growth and development to the kingdom and our neighbours.
His developmental strides have positively affected men, women, youths and even children”.
To many people, the reign of this Ogiame Atuwatse Ill has brought unity and oneness of the people.
Within one year, he led a delegation of Chiefs in the kingdom to visit the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari. Among the issues tabled in that visit was how the moribund seaports in Warri and Koko can be revamped to give employment to the teeming youths not only the lwere land bur Deltans, the Niger Delta as a whole. This visit became important as the monarch, touched by the level of joblessness among the youths in the state which has made most of them to take social vices such as armedrobbery for the boys and the girls, prostitutions.
Little wonder, the Vice Chairman of The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Delta State branch and the Founder, President of “No Peace, No Justice Initiatives; Comrade Derrick Oritsematosan Agberen, who hails from both Ugbori and Ugborodo Community, said the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse Ill is a technocrat who has used his ideas to better the lives of not only the Itsekiri nation but the Delta State, Niger Delta and the country at large. He said since His Royal Majesty assumed the throne over a year ago, he has brought unprecedented growth, development and wealth to the people as a symbol of the title he bears, which represents “the one restores wealth to the people”.
He said the king’s visit to President Mohammadu Buhari has started yeilding results as one of the reasons of his visit was to link the Ode Itsekiri known as Big Warri, as an offering for great development.
He said: “This is the first king who has taken the bull by the horn to visit the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to present the needs of, not only the Itsekiri as a nation but Delta State and
Niger Delta in general”.
Comrade Agberen said the kind of unity and love which now exists among the Itsekiri nation has never been as the king was able to unite the people, saying, this has brought tremendous growth, development and great wealth to the kingdom.
He used the medium to pray that God gives His Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III, the wisdom of that of King Solomon to enable him rule his people and bring more progress to the land.
He further urged the Itsekiri’s both home and diaspora to co-operate with His Royal Majesty to enable him achieve his goals in the kingdom.
He said, “l pray God Almighty to preserve our King by giving him long life, prosperity and also give him the wisdom of King Solomon to take the Kingdom to an enviable heights.
According to the President General of Warri Progressive Society ( Otoloye) founded 1961, the foremost Itsekiri Socio-cultural group, Scot Omasan said unlike other kings who have reigned in the kingdom, Ogiame Atuwatse Ill’s reign is unique as he does not take decision alone.
He said the king’s leadership style is one of the best in the kingdom.
Through his leadership styles, he has been able to transform the people from low level of life to higher level, saying his doing these through consultations with stake holders in the kingdom.
His words: “Since the existence of the kingdom, this is the king who really embarked on capacity building. His leadership style is remarkable. ltsekiri as a nation has been transformed from lower level to higher level. He is a man with vision”
Scot Omasan said the king has put machinery in motion to see that there is a bridge which runs from Warri to Ode Itsekiri(Big Warri).
This, according to him, is to boost commercial activities of not only Itsekiri as a nation but entire state and the country at large.
The relationship which exists between the king and his people has been a cordial one as he feels the pulse of his people.
Little wonder when Ekengbuda Toju, an illustrious son of the kingdom said the king is one in a million.
He said the king is loved by one and all just as he said he is part and parcel of the people.
He added: “The king is part and parcel of every body and you can see this from the crowd gathered here, it is a testimony to that”.
“Considering the role of the King in conflicts resolutions, he has been able bring together the host communities and various oil companies in the kingdom. This reboost relationship is brought about by the King who knows the importance of unity and oneness of the people. According a Chevron staff, Metshe, the friendly relationship between Chevron and Warri has taken a new dimension since the King ascended the throne.”
He said the king is a man of vision, a destined man with the desire to move his people forward.
He said: “Since the King came on board, it has been a new dawn for the host communities and oil firms. For instance, l remember when we had an issue with host communities, he was to talk to them and the issue was resolved amenably”.
To many, the King is an epitome of wisdom, knowledge and host of others. It is said he has been able, through his vision and knowledge, brought the Itsekiri nation to lime light. This is because he has to bring together and harmonise the views of the people to create awareness of what the Itsekiri need in the kingdom.
No wonder, the Senior Special Assistant the Delta State Governor on Political Matters, Hon. Amah Agbajor said the reign of the king has brought peace, togetherness just as the Monarch has projected as a nation to world’s recognition.
He said:’ despite the presence of contentious issues, the King has been able to unite the people. He has projected the Itsekiri to world recognition. He said, it is hoped more progress, development and growth will be in the kingdom as the Monarch has wisdom, capacity and charisma to make the kingdom one of the best in recent time.
The kind gesture of the King has earned him more respect. Many wished him the wisdom of King Solomon to carry on with his good work. According to Toritseju Egeremema-Oluwa said the king has embarked on infrastructural development and brought to Itsekiri nation the lost glory. He said, in the history of Kingdom, he is the first King who has come out to sympathise victims of fire disaster which happened in Miller Water side two weeks ago. He said:” the Kingdom is blessed more than ever before. You can imagine, he came on the spot assessment of the fire disaster which happened in Miller Water two weeks ago, this is first ever in the history of the kingdom”.
According to Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama(Rtd), a Delta South Senatorial District Candidate of New Nigeria People’s Party, said the King has brought a lot unity among not only his people but the entire state, and the country at large. He said: ” the King has brought unity among our people and the nation at large. Besides what he has done now, he is still strategising to ensure the needed growth and development come not only Itsekiri nation but Nigeria as a whole.
Others who spoke of the good of the king include Chief Dr. Mogba Eyeoyibo, the Oghowwarami of Warri Kingdom, Chief Michael Odeli,the Olorogun of Warri Kingdom,
The people of the Kingdom in Nigeria and Despora and others wished the King good health, long life and more wisdom to pilot the affairs of the kingdom to a greater height.
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