*How Azikiwe, an Ibo, deposed the grandfather of the new Olu Erejuwa III, who was re-instated by Awolowo, a Yoruba:*
The newly crowned Olu of Warri, Ogiame Erejuwa III, reversed the curse of his grandfather, the Ogiame Erejuwa II.
In 1963, Ogiame Erejuwa II, had taken the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Mid-West Government to court over the inclusion of Itsekiri in the newly created Mid-West region.
Ogiame Erejuwa II told the court that the Itsekiri Kingdom is part of the Yoruba nation and should have remained as part of the Western region and not included in the Mid-West region.
He argued emphatically that the Itsekiri people would like to be a part of the Western region and backed the Action Group led by Awolowo and rejected the NCNC led by Nnamdi Azikiwe who controlled the Mid-West.
Angrily, NCNC leader Nnamdi Azikiwe deposed Ogiame Erejuwa II and deported him to Ogbesse. The king then put a curse on all the Itsekiri who supported Ibo to bring the Itsekiri kingdom into disrepute. Okotie Eboh, an Itsekiri who supported the Ibo to depose the Itsekiri King would later be assassinated by the Ibo soldiers involved in the January 1966 military coup.
In 1966, Awolowo was set free by Yakubu Gowon and named the Federal Minister of Finance and the de facto Vice President of Nigeria. The first thing he did was to reinstate Ogiame Erejuwa II as the Olu of Warri. But Ogiame Erejuwa did not revoke the curse. His grandson, Ogiame Erejuwa III, has just removed the curse on the Itsekiri people.
The Itsekiri Kingdom is one of the twenty-six Yoruba tribes.
Director of Research and Development,
Young Yoruba for Freedom (YYF).