Yoruba coalition has expressed full support for Olu designate and condemner Ayiri’s court action
According to the group, the Olu of Warri designate, Omo’Oba Tsola Emiko deserve the full and unconditional support of Yoruba and Itsekiri people all over the world.
In a statement on issued after the group’s fact finding mission to Warri on Sunday, O’odua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC) a coalition of 35 different Pan Yoruba groups condemned attempts to distort the historical ties between Yoruba and Itsekiri through Chief Ayiri Emani’s court action.
The group in the statement signed by ONAC Deputy Chairman, Chief Samuel Akindele and General Secretary, Mr Omowumi Adebo said millions of Yoruba and Itsekiri people all over the world are disappointed about Chief Ayiri’s role in fuelling disunity and conflict in Warri and beyond.
ONAC said the position of Chief Ayiri that someone cannot become the Olu of Warri because the mother is Yoruba is embarrassing and a complete distortion of time honoured records.
“We are shocked by the position of Chief Ayiri. It is a known fact that Itsekiri is one of the sub ethnic groups of Oduduwa. There are some 25 sub Yoruba ethnic groups. When the proponents of the Edict mentioned Itsekiri and Bini origin, they did not exclude Yoruba” ONAC said
The group said Chief Ayiri’s action has the potential of distorting history and creating discord between children of Oduduwa
“The Bini royal family is a product of Oduduwa, the Yoruba progenitor. It means that any royalty in Bini has iota of Yoruba blood. The same way there is hardly any Itsekiri family without a link to Oduduwa. For centuries we have seen ourselves as belonging to one family. We urge Chief Ayiri not to put his name in the darkest part of history”
ONAC said the visits of it’s officials to Warri indicate that the new Olu designate is very popular and well accepted among majority of Itsekiri people, young and old, men and women adding that Chief Ayiri stands obviously in the minority.
‘The plot of Chief Ayiri will not only create disaffection among Itsekiri, it will set in motion instability which is the least Itsekiri and Yoruba people need at this critical moment that unity of purpose is needed.
ONAC said “Chief Ayiri does not need to fight the entire Yoruba or Itsekiri Nation. He should be conscious of history and how his role will be recorded. History is kind to peace makers but harsh on the path of those who nurture mischief and conflict. We advice Chief Ayiri to toe the path of honour and allow peace to reign for the prosperity of the Warri Kingdom.
ONAC said Yoruba people all over the world will be sending strong delegation to Warri to monitor court proceedings and also provide all the necessary support for truth and justice to be done in Itsekiri land,
Meanwhile, the influential Itsekiri National Youth Council, (INYC) has finally endorsed the Olu of Warri designate, Prince Tsola Emiko.
The INYC also declares Prince Oyowoli persona non grata in Warri Kingdom.
The INYC which is the umbrella body of all Itsekiri youths worldwide asked Oyowoli who is parading himself on social media as the Olu designate to stop embarrassing himself and to stop denigrating the over 800 years old Itsekiri history and tradition.
The INYC declare that the Itsekiri are of children of Oduduwa and represent one of the Yoruba sub groups.
The youths affirm that the Itsekiri are of Yoruba ancestry warning dissenting views not to bring politics into a purely traditional matter.
The youths affirmed that
the five Aboriginal communities of Ureju, Omadino, big Warri, Ode Ugborodo and Inorin that multiplied and metamorphosed into all the Itsekiris communities of today are all of Yoruba ancestry.
The Itsekiri youths under the auspices of the INYC which is the apex youth coalition of Warri Kingdom said the INYC support for the Olu was an historical responsibility needed to protect the heritage and civilisations of the ancient kingdom.
The INYC stated in a statement made available to Irohinoodua “For the past three months we have watched developments in Warri Kingdom. The full, unconditional support for Prince Tsola Emiko as the Olu designate came after extensive consultations with the five Itsekiri communities of Omadino, Igborodo, Ureju, Inorin and Ode Itsekiri. We have also consulted with some 70 traditional chiefs spread across Warri Kingdom. Our blood, our flesh, our spirit, our land fully endorse the Olu designate, Prince Tsola Emiko. Any attempt to subvert the will of the people is an attack on the entire Itsekiri people all over the World”.
A statement signed by the National President, Agbateyinmiwo Weyimi and said the Youths of Warri form 70 percent of the human population adding that the Youths are impressed that over 90 percent of the older generation of Itsekiri people all over the world support the new Olu designate.
The council said Itsekiri are part of the 29 Yoruba dialects and that the Edict automatically covered the Yoruba ancestry the Itsekiri being like ilaje, Ijesha, Okun,Ekiti, Ijebu, Igbomina etc that are amongst the 29 dialects in Yoruba.
The council warned those it described as renegade to desist from fuelling tension by promoting an alternative Olu on social media.
“It is an ancient proverb in Itsekiriland that two kings do not occupy the same throne. The Itsekiri people are aware of only one Olu designate, Prince Tsola Emiko. It is on this note that we hereby declare Prince Oyowoli Emiko who is parading himself on social media as alternative to the throne, persona non grata in the entire Warri Kingdom. He will be isolated and ostracized for breaching a history that has survived over six generations.”
The INYC said “Becoming the Olu designate is a long process. It involves a lot of physical and spiritual imput. It takes a very long time. It is strange that someone will parade himself on the social media as the Olu designate without even encountering any of the laid down time- honored traditions”, the youths said in the statement.
The council asked Oyowoli to stop playing the ostrich by coming out clean and provide the details of the critical information required from any Olu designate including but not limited to the current address of his Idaniken (seclusion) rite as no one does this in secrecy without the knowledge of those he wants to rule over, the venue of his Itsekiri National Assembly, a gathering of all Itsekiri people where he was introduced to the entire Itsekiri as their sucessor to the throne, the details of the composition of the Olu Advisory Council /Ojoye Ojo Isan, the venue where the Ojoye Ojo Isan presented him before the Oraclists and the outcome of the divination. The council said the Olu designate passes through all the steps stated above and had been presented to the Itsekiri National Assembly which adopted him before going for other necessary spiritual and intellectual steps already taken .
The council also tasked the Prince to provide the Royal Cemetery where he did his Iken rite and was proclaimed Ogiame
The council wondered why he did a round about turn and resulted to self help on social media even after he has gone to court to seek redress indicating he knew he was pursuing a grand illusion.
The council said no Olu designate can emerge without the details of the composition of his Ginuwa 1 ruling house which Prince Oyowili lack apart from not having a venue where he was presented by the Emiko royal family.
The council wanted him to present to the public the names of the Palace Chiefs and the entire Chiefs in the palace that supported him
The youths said in the statement “These demands were made today that from the five aboriginal Itsekiri communities with the leadership of INYC to do some clarifications on the on going misconception in some quarters about the emergence of Omoba Tsola Emiko as the 21st Olu of Warri Designate.”
The council said ‘The position of hundreds of thousands of Itsekiri youths we represent is that no one can disqualify Omobo Tsola Emiko from being the Olu of Warri, a throne occupied by his father about 5yrs ago because his mother is Yoruba . Doing this will amount to a serious breach ,infringement and infraction on his fundamental human rights as contained in all the legal instruments cited above.
The youths said if the declaration pursuant to the 1979 edict of the defunct Bendel state now applicable to Delta State is juxtaposed with Chapter 4 and subsection 1 and 3 of section 1 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the relevant provisions of the 1999 constitution will have their way and any part of the declaration will to that extent be a deviation in this case,wanting to prevent Omoba Tsola Emiko from ascending the throne occupied by his father because his mother is Yoruba will be null and void.
He said disqualification on that basis would not be appropriate to reason since all the sub ethnic groups can be used with Yoruba interchangeably.
The council said the throne of the Olu of Warri is from Bini Royalty and that of Bini is from Ile Ife in Yorubaland meaning the Edict did not mention the exclusion of Yoruba maternal link.
The youths stated that the position of Itsekiri youths is backed by various traditional, local national and laws.
“From the position of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly and domesticated in all continents and countries of the world in the likes of the Banjul charter otherwise known as the African Charter” the position of a few elements opposed to the Olu designate is baseless. The congress also cited Chapter 4 of Nigerian 1999 constitution (as ammended) which states that the Nigerian constitution superceds any other edict that is assuming their holding on to the 1979 Edict is right in the first place.
That on the issue of the emergence of Omoba Tsola Emiko as the 21st Olu of Warri, the Itsekiris have crossed the rubicon. By crossing the rubicon, we mean the process is irreversible. No one can force a willing employee on an unwilling employer of labour, the choice of the Oracle and the good people of Warri kingdom as their King is Omoba Tsola Emiko”
The council said that the installation of the Olu designate is a like the Philosophy of a moving train
“In a moving train philosophy, if u are inside the train and you don’t hold firmly onto your space and you fall off, the train will not stop and wait for you . But if you are outside and desirous of being in the train and you are able to pursue the train and and catch up with the train, it will accommodate you. What is not allowed in a moving train philosophy is to want to stand as obstacle in the front of the moving knowing the consequences is that the person will be a shameful minority.”
The youth leaders said the “IYNC wish to proclaim by the power confer on the Congress and we the elected officials as the leaders of Itsekiri National Youths Council worldwide that the date for the coronation of omoba Tsola Emiko as the 21st Olu of Warri kingdom as fixed by the Olu Advisory Council is sacrosanct and it is a date with history . Therefore all invited guests and dignitaries are encouraged to be in attendance.”