A new Olu of Warri emerged today and it was a classic case of ‘Whatever will be will be’.
Prince Utieyinoritsetsola ‘Tsola’ Emiko, son of Atuwatse ll, the 19th Olu of Warri, was highly expected to have been declared as Olu when his father joined his ancestors in 2015. Instead, his uncle, Prince Godfrey Ikenwoli Emiko who was his father’s younger brother, was crowned Olu.
Prince Tsola Emiko was on Monday named as the new Olu of Warri following the formal announcement of the passage of the 20th Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli at the age of 65.
Prince Tsola Emiko’s emergence was announced by the Iyatsere of Warri and Acting Chairman of Olu’s Advisory Council, Chief Johnson Amatserunreleghe at Ode-Itsekiri, the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people, in line with tradition that once the death of an Olu is announced, his successor must be named. The late Olu who was born on 19th March 1955 ruled from 12th December 2015 to 21st December 2020.
Prince Tsola Emiko who will become the 21st Olu would remain Olu-Designate pending all traditional and formal processes following which he would be formally crowned.
Today’s announcement of the demise of the 20th Olu of Warri flags off a three months of mourning in the Itsekiri Nation during which burials, marriages, and social activities are banned until the new Olu is crowned.
There will also be no merrymaking of any kind anywhere in the land and all Itsekiri sons and daughters are expected to tie their wrappers upside down during the period.
The Olu-Designate, Prince Tsola Emiko was born on 2nd April 1984. He had his elementary education at NNPC Primary School, Warri and secondary education at Adesoye College, Offa, Kwara State from 1995 to 2001.
He received his BA degree, with major in International Relations and Political Science at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA in 2006. He also received a Masters Degree in Management from the same university in 2007 and returned for his youth service in 2008, during which he served in the Public Affairs Department of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).
Between 2009 and 2012, he worked with Shell Nigeria Closed Pension Fund Administrator (SNCFPA) and Sahara Energy.
Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko, is described as a serial entrepreneur and is the founder of Noble Nigerian Ltd. and Coral Curator Ltd. He is the Chairman, Ocean Marine Security Ltd. and Director of several other companies.
He is married to Ivie Uhunoma Emiko and they have three children.
Warri Kingdom has been ruled by Olus since the First Olu of Warri, Ginuwa ruled these proud people of the oil-rich Niger Delta of Nigeria.
Including Ginuwa, the following occupied the throne:
- Ginuwa from 1480 to 1510.
- Ijijen Ogbowuru from 1510 to 1538
- Irame from 1538 to 1550
- Ojoluwa from 1550 to 1570
- Esigie from 1570 to 1597
- Sebastião Atorongboye from 1597 to 1625
- Domingos Atuwatse I from 1625 to 1643
- Antonio Domingos Oyenakpagha Obanighenren from 1643 to 1654
- Matias Ludovico Omoluyiri from 1654 to 1674
- Luigi Abejoye from 1674 to 1701
- Sebastião II Akenjoye from 1701 to 1709
- Miguel Omagboye from 1709 to 1730
- Agostinho Sabastião Octobia Akengboye from 1730 t0 1734
- Manuel Octobia Atogbuwa from 1734 to 1760
- Sebastião Manuel Octobia Erejuwa I from 1760 to 1795
- Eyeolusan João Akengbuwa from 1795 to 1848
There was an Interregnum from 1848 to 1936 (88 years).
Then the Emiko Dynasty began with:
- Ginuwa II Emiko Ikengbuwa from 1936 to 1949
- Erejuwa II Wilson Ayoronmitsi Gbesimi Emiko from 1951 to 1986
- Olu Atuwatse II Godwin Toritseju Emiko from 1987 to 2015
- Ikenwoli I Godfrey Emiko from 2015 to 2020
- Prince Tshola Emiko from 2021, but for currently Olu-Designate, until coronation after the three-month mourning period of Ikenwoli I.