By Oluwayemi Davidson, Warri
As reactions continue to trail Monday’s presentation of Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko from the Ginuwa I Ruling House as the Olu-designate of Warri Kingdom, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick, has advised the embattled Ologbotsere of Warri, Chief Ayiri Emami, to give peace a chance, and.not to allow himself to be used by people.
Pinnick, an Itsekiri, who was recently elected into the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) Council, while joining sons and daughters of Itsekiri nation in throwing their weight behind the emergence of Prince Tsola Emiko as the Olu-designate, remarked that the Itsekiri people are one hundred percent in support of Prince Tsola Emiko.
Pinnick spoke in an interview monitored on Arise Television just as Chief Ayiri Emami insisted that the emergence of the Olu-designate, in person of Prince Tsola Emiko was illegal as far as he (Ayiri) was concerned because he did not make the announcement.
According to Pinnick, the process leading to the choice of Prince Tsola Emiko could not be reversed, as it was fixated on crowning Prince Tsola Emiko in three months’ time.
He argued that the Itsekiri nation has had 20 Olus of Warri and four Ologbotseres, noting that only one Ologbotsere had crowned the Olus, explaining that he had authorities and records to back up his position.
In making the assertions, the NFF president insisted that the edict of 1979 on the crowning of a new Olu of Warri was put together by people he referred to as having various persuasions and interests noting that the Itsekiri people were not going for it but the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, citing Section 42, Subsection 2 as superior to the edict.
Pinnick said, “He (Chief Ayiri Emami) knows the process can never ever be reversed. It is not possible. The process is fixated on crowning Prince Tsola Emiko in three months’ time. And by God’s grace, nothing will stop it.
“The edict was put together by people with various persuasions and interests. We are not going to go into that. The Constitution of Nigeria is superior to that edict.
“You (Chief Ayiri Emami) have paid your dues in Iwere land. I am appealing to you not to allow yourself to be used by those hiding under you.
“This is not the Itsekiri that I know. Everything we do, we do it within the confines of the Aghofen (Palace Family) and it ends there.
“We had 20 Olus and Four Ologbotseres. What does that tell you? Of the four Ologbotseres, only one has crowned the Olu. What has happened? Nothing! And nothing will happen in three months’ time.
“The Itsekiri nation is 100 percent behind Tsola Emiko and that is the truth and we will not go back on it”.
Recall that Chief Ayiri Emami was recently ‘suspended’ as the Chairman, Council of Chiefs and head, Olu’s Advisory Council by the Ginuwa I Ruling House of Warri Kingdom in the midst of processes for picking consensus successor to the reverred Olu of Warri stool, over alleged bias.
But Chief Ayiri Emami has insisted that the emergence of a new Olu-designate of Warri, in the person Prince Tsola Emiko was illegal as he did not make the announcement.
However, the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Johnson Amatserunleghe, who has been acting in Ologbotsere’s place has reiterated that the Itsekiri nation met all the requirements before Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko was unveiled as the Olu-designate in Ode Itsekiri on Monday.