Olu of Warri visits Lagos, seeks inter-ethnic unity
Governor, monarch urge peaceful co-existence
The Olu of Warri, King Godfrey Ikenwoli Emiko, (Ogiame Ikenwoli I) who was on a visit to Lagos yesterday called for promotion and sustenance of inter-ethnic unity, particularly between the Yoruba in the South-West and the Itsekiri in Delta State.
Emiko, who was at the palace of Oba Rilwan Akiolu and State House in Ikeja, said the two ethnic nationalities were brothers who need to work together for national progress.
While receiving King Emiko at separate events, the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and Akiolu, reiterated the need for harmonious coexistence and support for the current administration if the country must make progress.
The Olu of Warri, who ascended the throne some three months ago, commended South-West monarchs for accepting him as one of their own, a demonstration of brotherhood.
Speaking at Akiolu’s palace, he said: “The way I was received in Yoruba land confirms that we are from the same heritage.
“All the receptions I have received in Lagos indicated that it was a homecoming. We are brothers and not to be separated. I am not the only traditional ruler that had visited Lagos but the reception showed that we are brothers.”
The monarch, however, appealed to Ambode “to see Warri as part of Lagos” notwithstanding the geographical distance.
Continuing, he said: “Our people live here and they feel comfortable because they know that they are living with their brothers. I wish that the relationship that had continued for years, is further strengthened so that whatever affects Lagos, affects us and vice versa. With this, we can develop better.”
Ambode, while receiving Emiko at the State House, recalled that the history of the Yoruba nation would not be complete without reference to the Itsekiri nation, and as such, both tribes must jealously guard and improve on the historical relationship.
Ambode also assured the monarch of the strong commitment of his administration to the welfare of the Itsekiri in Lagos.
“We are strongly committed to the needs of the people of Itsekiri land because we know that by history, the coming of Olu of Warri to Lagos from Ile-Ife is significant to show the Yoruba hegemony that we have always wanted and we will continue to preach about it”, Ambode said.
He also prayed for the monarch that his reign would bring about greater prosperity and peace to Warri land.
Akiolu, at his palace in Iga Iduganran, Lagos Island, had earlier charged Emiko, Oba of Benin and all traditional rulers to ensure that unity of all ethnic groups is promoted, even as he urged the public to rally behind authorities.
His words: “All Yoruba Obas, including the Oba of Benin, should refrain from making statements that will cause disunity in the country. In Lagos, we don’t discriminate against anyone.”
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