The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, has deposed the kingdom’s prime minister (Ologbosetsere) Ayiri Emami and installed a new one.
But the deposed Ologbotsere said he did not submit his authentic beads and sword to the Warri monarch.
Emami disclosed this through his spokesman, Alex Eyengho, on Sunday in Warri.
The monarch had formally invited Mr. Ayiri and the Ologbotsere family on Sunday to his palace for a reconciliation meeting.
Sources close to the peace move said it was being driven by the former president Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, who is also Itsekiri and some other prominent Itsekiri.
“What happened at the palace today is part of the script that has been ongoing in the past two years or thereabout. After meeting with the Ologbotsere family, I had the premonition that something like this would happen,” stated the deposed Warri prime minister.
He added: “I can say it loud and clear that the beads and sword I submitted at the palace are fake. I suspected that something like this would happen, and I prepared myself. The real beads and sword are here with me.”
He said the beads were given to him by Ogiame Atuwatse II and Ogiame Ikenwoli.
“I speak on behalf of the Ologbotsere descendants worldwide that when someone is given the title of Ologbotsere, it is till death. As of today, I am still the Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom,” added Mr. Emami.
Mr. Emami, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta, said several reconciliatory committees were constituted to resolve the issue, all to no avail.
He noted that the last committee that led to the formal invitation was headed by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the founder of the Word of Life Bible Church.
Mr. Emami quoted Atuwatse III to have said in the invitation notice that all Ologbotsere chiefs should bring their beads to the palace.
“Atuwatse III said that he had dreams on two separate occasions, and in one of the dreams, my father asked him to give back to me the Ologbotsere title. In the second dream, Ikenwoli told him that what he did in secret, he should help him to do it in the open by reconfirming Emami as the Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom,” the embattled Warri chieftain stated.
Mr. Emami stressed that having held the title of Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, he could not be cajoled with a lesser title of Eyela that his father held in the interest of peace.
“You cannot move forward and start going backwards in the interest of peace as such peace can be that of the graveyard, and we do not want that,” he said.
Before hundreds of sons and daughters of the Warri Kingdom at his palace, Atuwatse III said he was not interested in what would divide the Iwere (Itsekiri) nation.
Mr. Ogiame noted that he had had several dreams on the issues, hence the move to reconcile with the Ologbotsere family in the interest of peace and development of the Itsekiri nation.
He told the people that the Ologbotsere title remained the highest in the Warri kingdom.
A video released at the end of the meeting showed Ayiri in white native attire, but not Itsekiri traditional outfit,walking with youths hailing him with his titles and nicknames.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, who was in Warri few months ago, had also met with the Olu of Warri and Chief Ayiri separately.
It will be recalled that Chief Ayiri, as the Ologbotsere, had challenged the processes that gave rise to the emergence of the Olu of Warri Atuwatse III, insisting that there were some violations.
The Police had, in a suit, linked Ayiri with a missing crown belonging to Warri Kingdom.
The Olu of Warri, on his part, has carried on without an Ologbotsere in his reconstituted council of chiefs since his ascension to the throne.