Urhobo Historical Society

LAGOS, NIGERIA.     Monday, June 30 2003

"Terrorism against the Itsekiris"

By Itse Sagay

IN a purported response to my article entitled "The Itsekiris, Ijaws, Urhobos and the Political control of Warri Territory" one Chris Akiri launched a venomous, virulent, vicious and violent tirade of insults, abuses and disinformation against the Itsekiri Nation and myself specially. I shall come to that later. From what I could decipher from Chris' rantings, he had set out to establish that the Itsekiri Kingdom did not extend to Warri Township (Okere in particular) before the Urhobo from Agbaro-Otor migrated to Okere-Urhobo of today.

But beyond relying on the case of D.O. Idundun & Ors Vs Daniel Okumagba & Ors to establish that the Kingdom founded by Olu Ginuwa the 1st, the first Olu of Warri, did not extend to Okere, Chris Akiri's sound and fury came to nothing. Now in trying to counter my arguments in my earlier article, Akiri established a rule for discourses, namely - that "if any premise in a logical argument is false, the conclusion thereon cannot stand". Let me now hoist him on his own petard.

As noted above, Akiri indulged in lengthy quotations from Idundun's case to establish that the Itsekiri Kingdom did not extend to Warri. In fact, all Idundun's case decided was that Ginuwa the first died at Ijalla and he Ginuwa the 1st, could not have founded a Kingdom which included Okere. In other words, the facts of the case were limited to the Kingdom founded by Ginuwa 1, the first Olu of Warri. The court did not purport to make a pronouncement on the subsequent expansion of the Kingdom by Ginuwa's successors. In the 500 years or so since Ginuwa's death at Ijalla, there have been 18 other Itsekiri Kings, not counting the four Governors and Chief Dore Numa who ruled doing the interregnum of 1848-1936. And so how can Itsekiri founding of Okere be exclusively hinged on the territory controlled by only the first out of 19 Monarchs? So it is clear that Akiri's premises are false and his whole case evaporates with that grossly defective premise. You cannot put something on nothing and expect it not to crash.

Indeed, Ginuwa the first merely planted the seed of the Kingdom. It grew under subsequent Olus. As the revered Itsekiri historian, J.O.S. Ayomike has established in A History of Warri Kingdom it was Ijijen, alias Ogbowuru the eldest son of Ginuwa and the second Olu, who established Warri Kingdom, proper, basing his headquarters at Ode-Itsekiri (Big Warri). Ginuwa never got to Ode-Itsekiri. By Akiri's logic, since Ginuwa did not found Ode-Itsekiri, it cannot be part of Warri Kingdom. Thus Akiri's case epitomises a classic case of the dearth and death of logic, for he completely overlooks the expansion of the Warri Kingdom by the following subsequent Warri Monarchs: -