Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
Elegant and handsome father of Itsekiri nation, the Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Tsola Emiko, Ogiame Atuwatse III, was, on Wednesday, on a courtesy visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Villa, the Nigeria seat of power, in Abuja.
Ogiame Atuwatse III was on the visit at the State House with some of his palace chiefs including Chief Brown Mene.
Addressing President Buhari and others present, Atuwatse III thanked him for his high-powered entourage he deployed to Ode Itsekiri (Big Warri) during his coronation as the 21st Olu of Warri last year August.
The Warri monarch, who described President Buhari as “a dogged patriot and fervent believer in Project Nigeria,” however, tabled some pressing requests needing discreet attention from the Federal Government.
They included the immortalisation of Nigeria’s first Minister of Finance, late Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh and the reconstitution of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board.
The Olu of Warri, on behalf of his people, decried the under-utilization of the four Delta ports in Warri, Koko, Sapele, and Burutu, all in Delta State, which, he said if revamped, could calm the tide of unemployment and youth restiveness in the region.
He also requested the resuscitation of the Ogidigben EPZ Project, which has been abandoned since 2015 with a request that the multibillion dollars project be handed over to the NNPC for execution.
While calling for fairness, equity and justice from the Federal Government in dealing with all ethnic nationalities in the country, Atuwatse III expressed his displeasure at the manner court injunctions are being flouted in Delta region.
“As an interested party, we genuinely want a better deal for us in the Niger Delta, as we believe charity begins at home.
“By this, we mean that we Niger Deltans must be ready to put the betterment of our people first in all that we do.
“Putting our people first is the only way to make our lives better,” the monarch, who wore his golden crown, reiterated while handing over the copy of his speech to President Buhari.
The Olu of Warri and his entourage also paid a call on the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at his office before exiting the villa.