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Seimbiri Kingdom in Mourning: Three-Month Ban on Social Events to Honor Late King

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In a solemn declaration, the Seimbiri Kingdom in Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State, has entered a period of deep mourning following the demise of their revered monarch, Pere Charles Ayemi-Botu (JP), OFR, known affectionately as the ‘Lion of the Niger’. The traditional council of chiefs, reflecting the profound respect and honor for their late king, has announced a three-month ban on all marriages, burials, and social festivities across the kingdom, commencing from January 5, 2024.

Pere Ayemi-Botu, a paramount traditional ruler who had a remarkable 29-year reign, passed away on October 5, 2023. His peaceful transition to join his ancestors has plunged the entire kingdom into a state of grief. This mourning period is a testament to the king’s significant influence and the void his departure has left in the community.

During a stakeholder meeting in Okpokunou, Alexander Ebisine, the spokesman of the traditional council of chiefs, announced the king’s eternal passage. He called upon all sons and daughters of the Seimbiri Kingdom, both at home and in the diaspora, to observe this mourning period until the final burial ceremony, the date of which will be announced after the three months of mourning.

Pere Ayemi-Botu’s legacy is one of courage, outspokenness, and immense contributions to the development of Seimbiri Kingdom. Described as a dogged and great king, he left an indelible mark of unprecedented development in the community. His reign was not only characterized by progress within the kingdom but also by his vocal advocacy for the development of the Niger Delta region.

Ebisine further stated that a condolence register has been opened at the royal palace and at the king’s residence in Warri, allowing individuals to express their sympathies and pay their respects. Chief T.M.O. Douglas, Chairman of the Seimbiri Traditional Council of Chiefs, appealed for calm during this period of loss. He emphasized the need to maintain the sanctity of the mourning period, honoring the late monarch’s memory with the respect it deserves.

Born on January 18, 1948, in Okpokunou, then part of Western Ijaw, Pere Ayemi-Botu ascended the throne of his forebears on April 4, 1995. His coronation, in accordance with the customs and traditions of Seimbiri Kingdom, was a significant event in the community’s history. The late monarch was not only a revered leader but also played a pivotal role nationally. He was the first executive chairman of the Traditional Rulers of Oil Minerals Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON) and a life patron of this influential royal body.

The Seimbiri Kingdom, known for its rich cultural heritage and significant contributions to the Niger Delta’s development, now faces a period of reflection and remembrance. The late king’s contributions to the community and beyond have set a high bar for leadership and community service.

As the kingdom navigates this period of mourning, the legacy of Pere Ayemi-Botu remains a guiding light, symbolizing resilience, wisdom, and the pursuit of communal advancement. The three-month mourning period is not only a time for grief but also an opportunity for the community to come together, reflect on their shared history, and envision a future that continues to build on the late king’s remarkable legacy.

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