Ogiame Atuwase III: The Speech That Won Their Hearts for the Umpteenth Time

Ogiame Atuwase III: The Speech That Won Their Hearts for the Umpteenth Time

The Palace of the Olu of Warri has been a beehive of activities as he marks his second year on the throne. Ogiame Atuwatse III was crowned the 21st Olu of Warri on Saturday 21 August 2021 at Ode-Itsekiri succeeding his uncle, Ogiame Ikenwoli I the 20th Olu of Warri. Born Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko, Ogiame Atuwatse III is the 16th great-grandson in a direct male line of Olu Ginuwa, the first Olu of Warri, and thus is a distant relative of the Benin Royal Family, through Ginuwa’s grandfather, who was Oba Ewuare the Great of the Benin Empire.

To celebrate the second anniversary of his reign, several activities spanning ten days were planned. The activities included a praise concert, conferment of chieftaincy titles, homage paying, thanksgiving and a lot more from the 18th to 27th of August, 2023.

The main event was colourful and brought Itsekiri sons, daughters and well-wishers from all across the globe to Warri in celebration of the achievements of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwase III. Present at the ceremony were dignitaries from all works of life; the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Commissioners, United Nations delegation, British Deputy High Commissioner, UNESCO, Presidential Candidates from Nigeria and Ghana and a host of others.

His Majesty can be described as a monarch who is very deliberate about promoting the cultural heritage of the Iwerre people and they love him for this. He has made many international and local trips in a bid to attract investment to Warri Kingdom and empower the youth. Something I noticed that brought joy to my heart was the participation of children and young adults in the ceremony. It is very important that the next generations of Africans are raised to know, understand and preserve their heritage. Seeing parents attend the ceremony with their kids was a good sight to behold.

His Majesty brought joy to the hearts of his people when he began his speech by speaking the itsekiri language. Following some controversies about being qualified to be on the throne, one of the reasons given by his opposition was that he could not speak the native language; how can you have a king who cannot speak your language? I believe hearing him speak the language fluently was music to the ears of his supporters and the people of Warri Kingdom in general. In his speech, he acknowledged the importance of building not only infrastructure but also building people. He enjoined his people to support him as they rebuild their communities and make their land an attractive place for investment and shared prosperity.

Sitting in the audience as he read his speech you could feel the sense of pride and reverence for every sentence made by their king. I can tell you for a fact that the people of Warri Kingdom are in love with their king and he is taking all the right steps to ensure they are not disappointed in any way. His Majesty also knows this as he acknowledged them in his speech when he said he has been “blessed with the best followers any king could ask for.”

Oghenefego Ofili

Oghenefego Ofili

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