Olu of Warri: Opposition leader, opposition in secret meeting with Emir of Kano
By Ehonwa Osagie, Benin
Leading opposition figures to the Olu of Warri designate, Omoba Tsola Emiko held a secret meeting with the Emir of Kano Aminu Ado Bayero (born 1961) 15th Fulani Emir last week, Irohinoodua can confirm.
Multiple sources said the opposition who is pushing for a stop to the proposed installation of the Olu of Warri this August met with key Fulani leaders at the palace of the Emir of Kano.
The meeting, sources said was presided over by His Eminence, the Emir of Kano.
A top traditional Chief opposed to the installation of the Olu designate led the Warro group to the Emir of Kano, reliable sources told Irohinoodua.
Competent sources said the opposition were in Kano to seek the support of Fulani leaders in their intensified effort to stop the installation of the Olu designate. Their choice of the Emir of Kano is unclear, however, a reliable source said given the political situation in Nigeria, the Fulani leaders consider Warri, one of Nigeria’s major oil hub as of strategic importance.
The opposition which has another candidate rests their logic on the premise that the new Olu designate has a Yoruba mother which he said contravenes the 1979 Edict which says that any Olu of Warri must a mother who is either of Itsekiri or Bini extraction.
But their meeting with the Emir of Kano has raised suspicion of the prospect of powerful interests behind the agitation indicating that ulterior motives.
“They are presenting Itsekiri land for sale. They are bidding ancient territory of Itsekiri out for exploitation”, Mathew Oritsebugbemi, an Itsekiri leader told our correspondent.
He said meeting the Emirnof Kano shows the “extreme.of desperation that they are not for Itsekiri people but out to sell the people.”
A group is opposed to the new Olu designate hinged its position in pursuant to the 1979 edict but others say the Edit does not disqualify the Yoruba.
Historians have long held that Itsekiri is one of the 29 dialects in Yoruba like Ekiti, Owu, illaje, Ijebu or Ijesa.
Historians trace the meaning of Itsekiri to Ajisegiri, in Ile-Ife meaning, the Earth of Morality and Discipline.
Historians also insist that the five Itsekiri aboriginal communities of Omadino, Ugborodo, Ureju, Inorin and Ode -Itsekiri that became Itsekiri are all Yorubas while Itsekiri, Ijebu and Ilaje dialects are similar.
It has also been argued that the pioneer Olu of Warri, Ginuwa, is a descendant of Oba Olua, an Oba of Benin whom in turn is a grand child of Oranmiyan from Ile Ife.
Chief Ayiri Emani who is opposed to the selection of the Olu of Warri told journalists in Benin recently that he has no personal dispute with the Olu designate.
He said “As a person, I Ayiri Emami, cannot say that I am in support or not, we have laid down rules and procedures that the Itsekiri normally operate on, so as Ayiri, the issue has nothing to do with me personally.”