Massive protest against Olu of Warri for denouncing his “Ogiame” traditional title and paganism

Itsekiri youths from across Delta State have laid siege to the palace of the monarch for allegedly renouncing his traditional title of Ogiame on grounds that it is associated with a sea goddess and also dissociating himself from some of the kingdom’s age-long traditional practices, which he described as paganism. 

The youths set up bonfires everywhere, chorusing the Itsekiri national anthem, which the monarch prohibited by his new order.

Comrade Omolubi Newuwumi, a prince of Warri Kingdom, confirmed that he was leading the “mutiny” against the monarch.

Night masquerades overtook the palace’s surrounding throughout Friday night such that the DPO in-charge of the “A” Division had to come and inspect the place midnight to verify an allegation that some parts of the palace fence had been broken by the protesting Itsekiri youths, which turned out to be a false alarm.

Omolubi, however, said the youths were not out to destroy or cause any havoc but only to ensure that the culture was not bastardized further and the name, Ogiame, retained as of old.

Meanwhile, The Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has appealed to thousands of Itsekiri protesting the bid by their monarch to jettison their traditional beliefs to remain calm, saying he was already meeting with stakeholders to resolve the matter.

Uduaghan, who arrived the palace at about 3.45pm on Sunday, was met by the surging protesters, who appealed to him to mediate in the crisis.

Urging the protesters to exercise restraint, he said he had discussed with Atunwase II, the chiefs and the youth over the issue and expressed gratitude to the protesters for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner.

The palace of the Olu of Warri was barricaded for the third day by the protesters who erected canopies in the front gate. Some women and youths also erected canopies by the side fence of the palace where they cooked and danced.

The protest was sparked off by the monarch’s decision to, among others, abolish the ancient Itshekiri masquerades which are paraded during traditional festivals.

While the monarch was inside the palace as the scene was playing out, only a few chiefs, leaders and youth representatives were allowed to enter the palace by the protesters.

Atunwatse II had few days ago declared in a document titled “The New Order of Iwere Kingdom,” that the “Ogiame” title which had been in existence for over 500 years would cease to exist following the recent consecration of the kingdom to God.

“Ogiame” means “King of the River,” according to the history behind the Itsekiri throne.

The monarch, in the document, said he had renounced his allegiance to the “Umalokun” (goddess of the sea), land and sky as well as the “Ogiame” title to which his ancestors had pledged allegiance to “Umalokun” and other deities.

He also said he was renouncing all pagan religious practices of his ancestors till date and submitted Warri Kingdom and its people to Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, as a born again Christian.

As soon as the news spread to Iteskiri towns and villages, anger was stirred against the monarch, who made it clear that he was changing the Ogiame title to a yet to be announced title.

Those against him said Warri kingdom has been synonymous with the Ogiame title since 1480 and it was wrong for the monarch to wake one day and upturn history.

Itsekiri masquerades barricading the entrance to Olu of Warri’s palace

Chiefs barricading the entrance to Olu of Warri’s palace


  1. Why is Christian association of nigeria not supporting this laudable monarch?

    + CAN leader, Pastor Oritsejafor is even from Warri. Jeeez

    1. Nothing concern CAN here. Why take up the title in the first place. Leave the kingship and preach to them.

  2. The King should leave the throne. force is not associated with christianity


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