The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has hailed the selection of Olu of Warri-designate, saying the process followed laid down norms, culture and tradition.
He added that the Yoruba nation would continue to foster mutual respect and nurture the chain of relationship that bonded the two ethnic nationalities.
A statement by Ooni’s spokesperson, Moses Olafare, in Osogbo, disclosed that Itsekiri represents a formidable dominion in the history of Oduduwa dynasty.
The statement said: “From the sacred throne of Oduduwa at Ile-Ife, we rejoice with Omooba Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko as the Olu of Warri-designate and Itesekiri people all over the world. We look forward to peace, concord and progress across Itsekiri land during the reign of the Olu of Warri-designate. The descendants of Oduduwa all over the world look forward to a progressive reign of the new monarch.
“We are proud of the blood bound relationship among all the descendants of Oduduwa and our Itsekiri brothers and sisters. We cherish the shared history, common ancestry, common spirituality, shared fears and aspirations.
“Our forefathers stood by each other in moments of thick and thin, they stood shoulder-to-shoulder as one indivisible energy, we hope to keep this precious gift they left for us. We cherish this important history. We shall guide it and defend it for the good of the great civilisation of Itsekiri and Yoruba people, a memory that has survived decades of travails and trials.
“Peace and stability for the people of Itsekiri is our utmost desire. We want to see Itsekiri land witness more prosperity, more fertility, more harmony and peace of mind with their neighbours towards a more united Oodua race and better Nigeria.”
The Ooni prayed for the soul of late Olu Ikenwoli, who he described as a natural traditional ruler, who meant well for his people and a great descendant of Oduduwa.
He said: ” His five years reign as Olu ofWarri contributed immensely to the upliftment of the age-long relationship of the Itsekiri and Yoruba nations. Ogiame Ikenwoli was a fantastic leader and highly respected member of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, NCTRN, so passionate about harmonious coexistence among the nations of the larger Oduduwa race worldwide, Yoruba, Edo and Itsekiri nations in particular.
“We related very closely, we exchanged royal visits, we agreed, just like our predecessors to ensure stronger Oduduwa family ties.”