Ambode hosts Olu of Warri, harps on peaceful coexistence

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday emphasised the need for ethnic nationalities in the country to live harmoniously, just as he said that such was the condition precedent for peace, progress and development to thrive.

Ambode, who spoke at the Lagos House, Ikeja while receiving the Olu of Warri, HRM King Godfrey Ikenwoli Emiko, Ogiame Ikenwoli 1, who paid him a courtesy visit, said the quantum of development which the nation would experience in a harmonious and peaceful environment cannot be underestimated, and therefore all hands must be on deck to promote peace.

The Governor recalled that the history of the Yoruba nation cannot be complete without reference to the Itsekiri nation, and as such, both tribes must jealously guard and improve on the historical relationship.

Ambode congratulated King Emiko on the successful ascension to the throne of his forefathers few months back, saying he believed so much in the ability of the monarch to turn around the fortunes of Warri for good as he had been doing even before his appointment as king.

The Governor also assured the monarch of the strong commitment of his administration to the welfare of the Itsekiri in Lagos.

“We believe so much in him (King Emiko) and his community; we believe just the way he has said that we are brothers and that anything that concerns the Warri community is the concern of the Yoruba community and like he rightly said, this visit once again emphasized the need for all of us to foster peace and harmonious relationship together.

“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.

“There is nothing we want to say about the history or the story of Yoruba nation that we can afford to leave out the Itsekiri. If you look at the name of our titles, our languages and our culture, you will obviously find out that there is a symbiotic relationship between us which we must guard jealously and also improve upon as we proceed,” Ambode said.

He also prayed for the monarch that his reign would bring about greater prosperity and peace to Warri.

Earlier, King Emiko said he was happy to be at the Lagos House because his visit was a homecoming experience for him.

He thanked Ambode for identifying with the people of Warri during the mourning period of the late monarch and during his coronation three months ago.

He said: “I came in from Ile-Ife to this place and the way the Ooni of Ife received myself and my entourage confirmed the fact that we are from the same heritage. As a matter of fact, I had the honour to first receive and bless his new wife and when I got to the palace of Oba of Lagos this morning, the reception too was like home coming.

“The Oba of Lagos left his throne and sat with me and this is just a confirmation that we are brothers that must not be separated. I’m happy sitting with the Governor as a member of the same family.

“My appeal is that we are part of you not minding the geographical distance. There are lots of Itsekiri in Lagos and there are lots of Yoruba in Warri. I want such relationship to continue and pray that we should sustain it,” the monarch counselled.