By Iduozee Paul, Benin
Chief Ayiri at the press section
The prime minister of Warri Kingdom, Chief Emmanuel Ayiri has denied involvement in the invasion of the palace of the Olu of Warri in which valuable ancestral kingship items were carted away by hoodlums.
Chief Ayiri made the denial in an interview with journalists after an interrogation session with the police at Zone 5, headquarters, Benin City. The prime minister said he knows nothing about the incident that happened in the palace of the Olu of Warri.
Chief Ayiri said:” Why l am here is based on the information on Olu of Warri palace. I know nothing about the incident. I told the police I know nothing about the incident.”
Asked if he is in support of the new Olu of Warri designate, Cheif Ayiri said he is in support of Emiko Tsola, the new Olu of Warri.
He said there are rules and procedures that the Itsekiri use to choose their king.
“I am in support of the process. We have laid down rules and procedures that the Itsekiri normally operate on. I, Ayiri Emmanuel have no personal issue with him. The person in question is my brother and friend.
“Whatever we are doing there is a law guiding us. That is what I was trying to do, not that I am not in support of what they are doing”.
Speaking on the interrogation, Chief Ayiri stated:” The reason why I am here is about the invasion of the Olu of Warri palace. The police had questioned me to know if I was involved. I didn’t also sign any undertaking with the police.
“I came and made my statements. The police asked me questions who invaded the palace and collected some ancestral artifacts. I told them I don’t know. I was not even in town when the incident occurred.
“It is not about Chief Ayiri. It is about the people of Warri Kingdom. If they are happy, fine. That is why I am their custodian. I don’t have any personal thing about anybody. If they feel happy, that is my heritage and what I stand for”.
On his suspension, Chief Ayiri Emmanuel said he doesn’t know where the ruling house in Warri Kingdom got their power to suspend him. “I don’t know where they derived power from. The Ruling House I was asked to summon according to the Edit, you cannot take some part of the law, and do away with other parts of the law. The law empowers me as the Prime Minister to summon them,” added.
Speaking on the way to bring peace to the kingdom, Chief Ayiri said there are already dialogues going on for peace to come.
“All I am praying for is for peace to be restored to the palace and the kingdom,” he stressed.
A few weeks ago, the ruling house in the Warri Kingdom suspended Chief Ayiri Emmanuel for refusing to support the kingship of the new Olu of Warri designate.