The new Olu of Warri Ogiame Atuwatse III on Saturday proclaimed the reversal of a curse placed on Nigeria by his grandfather Ogiame Erejuwa II moments after his coronation.
The move further confirms the monarch’s resolve to heal old wounds, heralding a new beginning for Warri people.
Born as Wilson Gbesimi Emiko, the new Olu’s grandfather was the paramount leader of the Itsekiri and was Olu of Warri from 1951 to 1964, and from 1966 to 1986.
Although he did not talk about what really transpired, Atuwatse III explained that his grandfather was so pained that he visited late Akenzua II who was Oba of Benin between 1933 and 1978 to recount his ordeal.
The new Olu said both traditional leaders placed a curse on the land and it was not recorded that any of them reversed it.
He said, “As the spiritual, cultural, political, and traditional ruler of this land, I, Ogiame Atuwatse III, the 21st Olu of Warri, the first son of Olu Atuwatse II, the grandson of and direct descendant of Olu Erediuwa II who was offended on this throne, hereby, reverse the curse placed over this land.
“In its (the curse’s) place, I release forgiveness and healing to the Federal Government of Nigeria whose might was used to propagate that offence, and I decree unprecedented and an uncommon peace, prosperity, progress, development upon this land.”
Atuwatse III, who said he is a firm believer in the intricate connection between the spiritual and the manifestation in the physical, informed those present at his coronation of the need to address the issue.
Meanwhile, singer Omawumi Megbele performed the national anthem at the coronation of the 21st Olu of Warri.
The singer, who is a native of Itsekiri Kingdom in Delta State, was praised by her people as the ‘Pride of Iwerre’.