…….. says 99.9per cent of Itsekiri want Olu designate crowned
By Oghenekaro Gabriel
President of the Nigerian Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Pinnick has described suspended Ologbotsere of Itsekiri Kingdom, Chief Ayiri Emami as a man that has lost his path and needs self-rediscovery.
Pinnick who was reacting to the court case instituted against the Olu of Warri stool by the suspended Ologbotsere, during a programme on Arise News, the ‘Morning Show’, said, “The Ayiri that went to court is not the Ayiri that I know. The Ayiri that I know loves his people, has empowered so many people both within and outside Itsekiri. So I believe he is not the same person.
“The Ogiame as it is now was born, nurtured, groomed, conditioned and primed to be a king, and you can see that everybody supports him, that is why I am telling you that 99.9% of Iwere Kingdom are behind him, and if the monarchy was democracy, the Ogiame will have 99.9% votes but unfortunately it is not.
“But I can assure you, you cannot govern an empty kingdom, you cannot govern an empty palace, the subjects have said this is the man, and we are going ahead, nothing stops us by God’s grace. You will see it, it is going to be a glorious event, the event planners are there in Ode Itsekiri, they are planning, everything is going on, I am moving one of my boats to Warri, and so we are going on without any disturbance.
“You see, if you look at the court cases, even though I wouldn’t want to be subjudice because is a court case, there are a lot of complications but I don’t want to speak about it because it is subjudice but I can assure you we are going ahead.
“I will leave the cases that are in court let the court decide, but I can assure you that the court’s decision will not be to stop the coronation that has been planned, that I can assure you, the coronation will go on and there will be genuine reconciliation of all the nationalities because like I told you, the Ayiri Emami that I know, loves the Itsekiri nation, he loves his people. He will find his path to truth, he will find his path to peace and harmony and all the other people that are behind him will come as one indivisible unit.”
Reacting to why he has not been conferred with a chieftaincy title despite his contributions to the Itsekiri nation, the NFF boss said, “some of the greatest Itsekiri leaders in the past remained Mr. till they died, Alfred Rewane and Mr. G. O. Ayomike, my mom’s immediate elder brother, in fact, one of the greatest historians of the Iwere kingdom, he died a Mr. not because they didn’t want the chieftaincy title but because they just believe that they can work more from behind and which they did.
“My uncle in 1976 was offered the Ologbotsere, and you cannot turn down when something is offered, so he tactically avoided being made Ologbotsere. You can see that if my uncle, my mom’s elder brother will be made an Ologbotsere, it means I also am in line for an Ologbotsere, but guess what, that is not our thinking, that is not our direction and really and truly, I will do the same thing that my uncle did.
“If you look at our history, my great grand dad was called Aloba, he was one of the favorite children of Uwangwe, he gave birth to Agbere, Agbere gave birth to Erowa, Erowa gave birth to my grandmother, Nebaro, so we are from that line of Ologbotsere family but guess what, we are doing it because we love the race and not because we want any position.
“It is not everybody that must have a position, there are some people that are even in this government that are not holding any position but they have more strength than even people in government. So that is the kind of thing we want, we want to work from behind and enable your ethnic nationality. That is what we are doing, I will support anybody that wants to rule, an Itsekiri man is an Itsekiri whether title or no title.”