The traditional council of chiefs in Seimbiri Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State has declared a mourning period for the next three months in honour of the departed king, Pere Charles Ayemi-Botu (JP), OFR.
During the mourning period which would commence on January 5, 2024, there will be no marriages, burials or other social activities within the kingdom.
The paramount traditional ruler, Ayemi-Botu aka Lion of the Niger, was said to have peacefully joined his ancestors on October 5, 2023 after 29 years on the throne.
Announcing the king’s eternal passage during a meeting of stakeholders in Okpokunou, spokesman of the traditional council of chiefs, Alexander Ebisine said all sons and daughters of Seimbiri Kingdom at home and in the diaspora would remain in mourning mood until the final burial ceremony is completed.
According to Ebisine, an official date will be given for the burial ceremony at the end of the three months of mourning.
He described Pere Ayemi-Botu as a dogged, outspoken, courageous and great king who came, saw and conquered leaving behind a trail of unprecedented development in Seimbiri Kingdom during his 29-year reign.
“Following the passage of our monarch, a three month period of mourning has been declared in the Seimbiri Kingdom.
“During this period, there will be no social activities such as marriages and burials etc, throughout the period of mourning,” he declared.
Ebisine added that a condolence register has been opened at the palace and at his residence in Warri.
Chairman of Seimbiri Traditional Council of Chiefs, Chief T.M.O. Douglas sued for calm, saying the kingdom had lost a king whose voice on issues of development of the Niger Delta could not be silenced.
He said the kingdom was in a mourning mood and advised all to maintain the sanctity of the of the passage of the Seimbiri monarch.
Born on January 18, 1948 at Okpokunou in the then Western Ijaw, Pere Ayemi-Botu ascended the throne of his forebears on April 4, 1995 when he was presented with the staff of office by the then Military Administrator of Delta State, Group Captain Ibrahim Kefas after being crowned in April 2, 1994 in line with the customs and tradition of Seimbiri Kingdom.
He was the first executive chairman of the Traditional Rulers of Oil Minerals Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON) and life patron of the royal body.