Itsekiri traditional council remains silent on Olu of Warri


The Olu’s palace… yesterday. Photo: Chido Okafor

Reddington Hospital denies his demise  

Hopes of an announcement over the health situation of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II yesterday by the Itsekiri Traditional Council was dashed as the traditional council remained silent over his situation.

Yesterday morning, at about 9 a.m., journalists were invited to the palace by the traditional council probably to formally announce the death of the monarch.

However, at about 12 noon, some palace aides emerged and sent away the journalists saying the traditional council discovered some errors in the prepared statement that would be read to the journalists and have asked for more time to put things right.

They promised to call the journalists back yesterday or today to brief them on the situation at the palace. Meanwhile, Reddington Hospital, Victoria Island, Lagos, has denied the rumour that Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwase II, died in the hospital, last Friday.

The hospital also said that regent was not in the list of their patients. When The Guardian visited the hospital, yesterday, a source, who pleaded anonymity, said the Olu did not die in the hospital as it was reported.

The source further stated that the hospital did not have any record or details concerning the passage of Olu. The Guardian observed that normal hospital services were going on during the visit The source also stated that if the monarch had died in the hospital, it should be confidential between the royal family and the hospital, adding whoever wishes to get details should get permission from the family.

The Warri Traditional Council had been meeting at the Olu’s palace since Friday when the rumour of the monarch’s alleged passage first emerged.

It was learnt that the planned briefing was postponed because the traditional council were yet to select a new monarch. The Guardian learnt that it is customary that a new monarch is announced at the same time the demise of the incumbent is made public.

The next Olu, according to sources, is expected to be selected from the two ruling houses, Teye and Ejo. The immediate past Olu, Atuwatse II, is said to come from the Ejo ruling House.

It is still not clear if power would be rotated to the Teye ruling House this time around. The palace was quiet and devoid of visitors yesterday as the main gate remained shut as the security men at the gate bared people from entering the palace.

Despite meeting in the inner chambers of the palace with all windows and doors shut, one could still hear raised voices of the traditional council debating issues inside the inner chambers of the palace.

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