Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There is disquiet in Bayelsa State over the suspension of the traditional ruler of Oluasiri Community in Nembe Local Government Area of the state, the Ibeyanaowei of Oluasiri, HRH King Iyerite C. Awululu.
The monarch, who was crowned about 10 years ago and who is also a second class traditional ruler in the state, was accused of alleged flagrant abuse of the State Government directive and threat to peace and security of the community.
The suspension of the Oluasiri monarch, which was handed down through the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Community Development and Chieftaincy affairs, Mr. Gibson Egbert, was followed with the dissolution of the Oluasiri Development Union and Oluasiri Youths Federation.
According to investigations, the state government had to beef up security at Oluasiri considering the level of insecurity in the area.
However, a socio-political group known as the Elite of Oluasiri Clan, has faulted the suspension of the monarch, describing it as ‘unreasonable, unjustifiable and disrespectful’ to the people of Oluasiri.
The group also condemned, in its entirety, the purported dissolution of the Oluasiri Development Union and Oluasiri Youth Executive led by Gamage Difurotogu and Kienworio Tanga, respectively.
Spokesman of the Elites of Oluasiri Kingdom, James N. Irigha, in a statement, said that King Awululu is a peace-loving monarch who respects constituted authorities, hence the claim by the state government is baseless.
The clan’s spokesman alleged that the state government is carrying out the nefarious plan of some unscrupulous elements from Oluasiri who are hell bent on dislodging the current leadership of the clan for their selfish gains.
The statement read in parts, “As a group determined to engender unity and sustainable development in Oluasiri Clan, we strongly condemn the purported suspension of King Awululu and the leadership of ODU and the youth body.
“We wish to state unequivocally that we only recognise the Gamage Difurotogu-led Oluasiri Development Union and Kienworio Tanga-led Oluasiri Youth Federation, therefore the so-called interim executives that were announced on radio remain null and void.
“Furthermore, we will not fold our hands and allow some egoistic individuals using state power to illegally and contemptuously remove the leadership of our clan”.
The group stressed that Oluasiri, under King Awululu, has experienced relative peace and progress, adding that only retrogressive and unpatriotic elements would want to dethrone an innocent king who is immeasurably loved by his people.