The Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III, has rebutted claims of the endorsement of an All Progressives Congress presidential aspirant, Bola Tinubu, ahead of the 2023 elections.
The rebuttal comes after media reports (Not PUNCH) claimed that the Warri monarch endorsed Tinubu when a delegation of the South West Agenda for Asiwaju and Delta State for Bola Ahmed Tinubu visited him at his palace on Thursday.
According to the statement signed by the Head, Back Office Operations, Office of the Ogiame Atuwatse III, Oriiz U. Onuwaje, the reports were taken out of context to suit a narrative.
Onuwaje noted that the Olu of Warri had no political affiliation to any party or candidate vying for any office in the forthcoming elections, accusing the writer of contravening the Palace’s non-partisan status.
The statement reads, “On the instructions of His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse III – The Olu of Warri; firmly rebut the statement claiming Ogiame’s endorsement of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and restates that Ogiame has no political affiliation or preferred political candidate for any office in the forthcoming 2023 elections be it at the regional, sub-national or national level.
“Ogiame is a father figure to all and has no personal favourite or special interests in any candidate or political party vying for any office in the forthcoming elections one way or another and will therefore not endorse or discredit any candidate to the detriment or advantage of others.
“The headlines credited to Ogiame in the referenced quotes have been taken out of context and reworked to suit a specific narrative. They cannot be further from the truth. For an unclear motive, the writer contravenes the Palace’s avowed role of non-partisanship.”
“Ogiame is a father figure to all who have a genuine interest in advancing the course of development of our nation. Ogiame is duty-bound to receive and proffer advice and blessings to all those who seek his audience and counsel.
“Therefore, His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse III – The Olu of Warri is using this medium to make this important clarification for the avoidance of doubt and further requesting that in the future, any queries and clarifications on Palace communications should be directed to the Palace media office.”