After weeks of controversies and heightening tension, the coronation of Prince Tsola Emiko as the 21st Olu of Warri in Delta State went on smoothly without any reported breach to security in the Warri area.
Recall that there are currently two pending cases in court challenging the choice and emergence of Prince Tsola Emiko as the 21st Olu of Warri designate.
Also, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Ari Muhammed Ali, on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, announced the deployment of one thousand police personnel to ensure watertight security before, during and after the coronation ceremony.
However, on the D-Day, Saturday, August 21, 2021, absolute peace pervaded the entire Warri area with residents going about their lawful duties.
NewsNet Nigeria only observed that commercial activities did not pick up early particularly in the Itsekiri dominated areas of Warri until about 12noon.
A drive through some major roads in the metropolis like Okumagba Avenue, Okumagba Estate, Okere road, Ekpen leading to Ogunu road and Angle park revealed a calm atmosphere with splashes of beautiful decorations and pictures of the new Olu of Warri adorning the area.
There was also no heavy presence of police personnel going by the one thousand the state Command claimed it deployed for the event.
At the early hours of Saturday, thousands of Itsekiri sons and daughters and their well-wishers thronged various jetties to board a boat to ferry them to Ode-Itsekiri, the venue for the coronation ceremony.
The event which started with a boat regatta at the Warri River saw colourfully designed boats from each of the communities in Iwere Kingdom displaying the rich cultural heritage.
The boat regatta has always been part of the Itsekiri coronation process whereby communities in Iwere Kingdom in their decorated boats lead the monarch to their ancestral town, Ode Itsekiri.
At Ode Itsekiri, Prince Tsola Emiko performed various rites before being crowned, amongst them is the breaking of firewood, paddling of canoe and carrying a pot of water for the very last time as a mortal.
He was later asked to select a ceremonial sword while being blindfolded from among 20 others to choose the title which he would be called throughout his reign as the 21st Olu.
But, in what appears to be predestination, the new Olu chose the title of his late father and now would be known and addressed as Ogiame, Atuwatse The Third.
The colourful ceremony attracted top government functionaries, royal fathers including the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who represented President Mohammadu Buhari while the Chief of Staff Government House, Asaba, Chief Ovie Agas, stood in for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Others include the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and Deputy Governor Edo State, Comrade Philip Shaibu, were at the ceremony.
Also present to witness the crowning of the 21st Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse The third by the Uwangue of Warri Kingdom were a representative of the Emir of Kano, Ooni of Ife, former CAN President and founder of Word of Life Bible Church, Papa Ayo Oritsejafor.
In their goodwill messages, President Mohammadu Buhari, and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa congratulated the Atuwatse The third on his successful coronation ceremony and called on the Itsekiri nation to support their monarch at all times.
The Oba of Benin and the Ooni of Ife also in their goodwill messages, wished the new Olu of Warri God’s wisdom to rule his people, describing him as a true king who loves his people and is loved by his people.
The Olu of Warri, Atuwatse The Third, who started his first official address by singing Christian songs to appreciate God, praised the immediate past Olu of Warri for his peaceful reign and appreciated Chiefs of the Kingdom for their efforts in making the long-awaited coronation a success.
While appreciating the Itsekiris for standing as one throughout the period, the monarch recalled the history of the stool as he reminded his audience that of the crowns used so far by his forefathers, he is introducing a new crown made of ‘pure gold’ that will sit on his head throughout his reign as the twenty-first Olu of Warri.
The highpoint of the ceremony was the induction of the new Olu of Warri, Atuwatse The Third, into the fold of first-class monarchs in Nigeria performed by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi,(Ọjájá II.