Olu Of Warri: Palace Church Relocates
WORSHIPPERS at the Foursquare Gospel Church located within the palace of the Olu Of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse 11, were yesterday prevented from accessing the building.
Although no reasons were given, the worshipers who turned up for the usual Sunday service were politely directed to the Church’s Convocation Centre, 200 metres away.
This may not be unconnected with Thursday’s reported demise of the monarch in a Lagos hospital, after suffering stroke, after 28 years on the throne.
Daily Independent had reported that following the demise of Ogiame Atuwatse, the 19th Olu of Warri, born Godwin Toritseju Emiko, Itsekiri palace chiefs met Saturday night, according to a source close to the palace.
Although, the chiefs were expected to make a formal announcement on Sunday, they however remained silent on the status of the lawyer-turned traditional ruler.
Meanwhile, when Daily Independent visited on Sunday, the two entrances to the palace were securely locked, while hundreds of cars belonging to worshippers usually inside the sprawling premises were parked on the play field outside, while the Sunday service held at the Convocation Centre was presided over by the Senior Pastor, Rev. Sam Aboyeji.
There had been rumours that the revered royal father who ascended the pristine throne on May 2, 1987 had some health challenges and perhaps had possibly transited as reported by media organisations across the country.
Just like the traditional chiefs, the church did not offer any reason why its Sunday service was moved to the Convocation Centre, just as it remained silent on the rumoured death of the first class traditional ruler and Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council.
Prominent Itsekiri sons and daughters, including chiefs and family members contacted on the rumour feigned ignorance of the monarch’s reported transition, saying that they have no such information and should not even be heard voicing such abominable words. They all appeared to be going about their normal businesses, with no evidence of apprehension noticed anywhere across Warri and its environs.
Those who commented, pleading anonymity, claimed that if such an incident occurs, it is only the appointed palace chiefs that can make such information public. There are those who however believe that the report could be true, since the palace is usually a beehive of activities on Sunday.
Daily Independent however learnt that following the reported death of Ogiame Atuwatse II, palace chiefs were on hand to verify the truth of the matter from family members.
Meanwhile, Senate President Bukola Saraki, on Sunday mourned the demise of Ogiame Atuwase II, describing it as a national loss.
In a statement, by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja, described the demise as painful, even as he acknowledged “that death is an inevitable end for all mortals.”
Saraki urged the government and people of Delta State to immortalise the departed monarch to dignify his noble deeds while on earth.