Sunday, August 22, 2021 11:00 am
By Ademola Adegbamigbe
Facts on earlier Atuwatses whose names new Olu Emiko adopts
Just as it happens in the Vatican when a new Pope adopts names of old Pontiffs, aftet has been chosen by the College of Cardinals, the new Olu of Warri, Tsola Emiko, today, during his correlation, started bearing the name, Atuwats III. Before him, in the line of Olus of Warri, there had been two bearing that name.
The first was Olu Atuwatse 1 (Don Domingos), 1625-1643. He was taught Western education at home, an opportunity made possible by his own father. He was taught by the Bishop in Ode-Itsekiri, which resulted in him being able to read and write in Portuguese. He did not stop at that. He proceeded to Coimbra, Portugal from 1600 to 1611. According to historians, he “returned as a graduate, making him the first graduate in Sub Saharan Africa.” That was not his first feat of firsts, Atunwatse 1 (baptised into Catholicism as Olu Dom Domingos) was, as many chronicles had it, “the first to marry a noble Portuguese lady, that came with him in 1611. He worked against many superstitions. Under him, practices like female circumcision were abandoned.”
The second was Emiko’s father, Olu Atuwatse 11 (Godwin Torirseju Emiko,) 2 May 1987- 5 September 2015. He was the 19th Olu who was born Godwin Toritseju Emiko.
According to his biographers, he succeeded his father. He was a lawyer by profession and was a recipient of the Commander of the Niger (CON) award from the Nigerian Government.
“Atuwatse II died in a hospital in Lagos in early September 2015, after suffering a domestic accident. He was 70 years old and was preparing to fly abroad to receive intensive medical care before his condition worsened.”