AS the coronation of Prince Utieyinoritsetsola [Tsola] Emiko as the 21st Olu of Warri is less than 24 hours away, our correspondent examines the living history of the Warri Kingdom dating back to 1480.
The Olu of Warri is the principal officer of the Warri Kingdom and with the help of the chiefs (Ojoye), the Olu runs the affairs of the Itsekiri people.
According to the Kingdom’s Wiki entry, the Kingdom of Warri (Warri Kingdom) or Iwere Kingdom (1480-till date) was part of the Nigerian traditional states based in the city of Warri, Delta State.
The Olu or Ogiame (King) of Warri Kingdom rules over only the Itsekiri people living in Warri.
According to Bini and Itsekiri histories, Olu Ginuwa, a prince of Benin Kingdom, founded the Warri Kingdom about 1480. In the 15th century, it was visited by Portuguese missionaries.
At the beginning of the 17th century, a son of the reigning Olu was sent to Portugal and returned with a Portuguese wife. Their son, Antonio Domingo, was Olu of Warri in the 1640s.
Olu Erejuwa, who reigned from about 1720 to 1800, expanded the kingdom politically and commercially, using the Portuguese to further its independence of Bini and to establish control over a wider area.
Later, Warri served as the base for Portuguese and Dutch slave traders.
Warri became a more important port city during the late 19th century when it became a centre for the palm oil trade and other major items such as rubber, palm products, cocoa, groundnuts, hides, and skins.
Warri was established as a provincial headquarters by the British in the early 20th century.
Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko
Before Emiko, 20 Olus had ruled Warri. With the death of the 20th Olu, Ogiame Ikenwoli, Emiko became the next in line to be crowned.
Born on April 2, 1984 to the late Ogiame Atuwatse II, Prince Godwin Toritseju Emiko; and Gladys Durorike Emiko in Warri, the Olu Designate attended NNPC Primary School in Warri and later, Adesoye College, Offa, Kwara State, for his secondary education between 1995 and 2001.
He then proceeded to Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts between 2002 and 2006, majoring in International Studies and Political Science.
He also took courses in History and Economics as minor.
In 2007, he earned an MSc in Management, also from Case Western Reserve University.
On returning home to Nigeria in 2008, Prince Tsola Emiko had his primary assignment as a youth corps member in the Public Affairs Department of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services.
Thereafter, from 2009 to 2010, he worked as an officer at the Shell Nigeria Closed Pension Fund Administrator and later, at Sahara Energy as Government Relations Officer between 2010 and 2012.
A serial entrepreneur, the Olu Designate is the founder of Noble Nigeria Ltd and Coral Curator Ltd.
He is the chairman of Ocean Marine Security Ltd; and Director, Gulf of Guinea Ltd., among others.
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