By Edeki Igafe
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the 21st Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse 111, to unite the entire Itsekiri nation and begin the process of healing the kingdom.
Obasanjo gave the admonition on Sunday at the Coronation Thanksgiving Service of the Olu, held at the Warri Palace chapel.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Ogiame Atuwatse III was crowned as the 21st Olu of Warri on Saturday at Ode-Itsekiri, ancestral home of the Itsekiri in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta.
Obasanjo prayed for a peaceful and long reign of the Olu and advised him to always stay very close to God in all his dealings.
He urged the king to diligently perform the task God had entrusted to him, noting that the position was given to him by God.
The former president, while acknowledging that the title “His Majesty” carried a lot of responsibilities, urged the Olu not shun the experience and advice of elders.
“Two things must guide you: one, do not shun the experience and advice of elders, it is useful. Experience is wisdom, make use of the experience of people around you. Secondly, be very close to God.
“I do not want to see the fourth Olu, I have witnessed three being crowned in my lifetime.
“Congratulations. May your reign be long, peaceful, bring unity and prosperity to Itsekiri. May your reign contribute to the development, unity, and prosperity of Nigeria.
“I am one of the happiest people for your installation. God has specially favoured me to see one, two, three Olu of Warri and I do not want to see fourth,” Obasanjo prayed.
Obasanjo promised not to be far from the king, saying “and if there is any reason to summon me, use your majestic power to do so,” he said.
Also, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta urged the Olu to extend the olive branch to any aggrieved Itsekiri.
“I am aware a lot of healing process is ongoing. It is time for healing; ensure the entirety of the kingdom comes together.
“Whether stubborn or not, extend the olive branch to them. You have a lot of work to do in Nigeria.
“We cannot afford any distraction at home, so that the larger nation will have your presence in the nation-building.
“Your reign will truly bring peace and development. God has prepared you for this time. God’s presence be with you,” Okowa said.
The Guest Speaker at the Thanksgiving Service, Apostle Tomi Arayomi, said God had ordained the Atuwatse III, noting that it was a divine arrangement for him to rule at this time.
“God is willing to partner with people who were willing to partner with the spirit of God to develop nations,” Arayomi said.
The Holy Communion was presided over by former president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.
Dignitaries from all walks of life, home and abroad, including former Delta Governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, Sen. James Manager, members of Delta House of Assembly, among others attended the thanksgiving service