Wilson Ayonronmitsi Gbesimi Emiko, popularly called by the title Ogiame Erejuwa II was the 18th Olu of Warri Kingdom, Delta. He succeeded his father and reigned for over 30 years. Ogiame Erejuwa II was born in 1908 and passed on 17th December, 1986, shortly after his reign.
The Warri Kingdom records Erejuwa II as one of the prominent leaders whose reign led to many changes and sporadic shifts in Warri.
Early life of Ogiame Erejuwa II
Ogiame Erejuwa II succeeded his father in 1951. He was the second Olu in the second dynasty and the second son of his father, Olu Ginuwa II. He attended a CMS missionary school at Ogbesse.
He resided in Warri Township and was the first Olu to maintain two palaces—one in Ode-Itsekiri (known as big Warri) and the other in Warri Township. During his early days, He did business with United Africa Company (UAC) where he rose up to become a provisional cooperative president at that time. Not only was he the cooperative president in UAC, but he was also appointed as the regional minister without having a portfolio. Later, Erejuwa II became the president of the Warri Divisional Traditional Council.
Achievements of Wilson Ayoronmitsi Gbesimi Emiko
Wilson Ayoronmitsi Gbesimi Emiko is remembered for his good deeds and numerous achievements Warri experienced during his reign. There were several Educational, health, and social advancement and amenities to cater for the welfare of the people of Warri were provided. During his era, there was the emergence of party politics. Ogiame Erejuwa II was the Olu of Warri from 1951-1964 and also 1966-1986. Olu Erejuwa II was deposed as Olu on 21st August, 1964 due to a rivalry between prominent Itsekiri leaders in the action group and those in the NCNC. This happened during the regional government. But in 1966, when there was a new military government of David Ejorr, he was reappointed again.
He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Ife, Ile-Ife (now known as Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) by Late General Murtala Mohammed the then Head of State. In 1958, there was the establishment of Itsekiri Communal Land Trust by the Western government of Nigeria. He was appointed a minister in the Western Region government in the sixties shortly after the country’s independence.
The Erejuwa II era also recorded the construction of a modern palace at Ode-Itsekiri (big Warri), and women began to have chieftaincy titles.