New Telegraph

28-Opu-Nembe Elders Allegedly Sent To Exile For Attending Sylva’s Birthday Part

Some Chiefs and Prominent Leaders of the Opu-Nembe Community in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have allegedly been driven into exile by the president of the community’s youths body youth body of community for attending the birthday party of the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.

Speaking on Wednesday in Yeagoa during a press briefing, the spokesman of the supposed affected chiefs and elders, Chief Monday Degi appealed that military personnel should permanently be stationed in the community to forestall further unleashing of mayhem.

According to Degi who fingered the youth president of the community, Ayerite Ebinimi Moses as allegedly being the brain behind the crisis, he said that over twenty houses and properties worth hundreds of millions belonging to them have been destroyed.

Speaking further, Degi, said that the youth president who has allegedly been having clashes with one Kojo Sam, a close ally of Chief Sylva, over personal economic and financial dealings, is in the habit of allegedly sending armed youths to destroy and loot houses and personal properties of persons perceived to be close to his enemies.

The affected chiefs who claimed that their right of citizenship and indigeneship of the Opu-Nembe community is being infringed upon, blamed the executives of the Chiefs’ Council of Opu-Nembe for leaving the matter unchecked or put under control until an invasion of the community by armed youths in July, 2021 and in February 2023.

Degi said “There was peace and tranquility enjoyed by the Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri) community before the inauguration of the present youth body in May 2020. This relative peace and tranquility continued until Ayerite Ebinimi Moses led youths leadership and Kojo Sam (their master) had issues bothering their personal economic and financial dealings.

“These issues were left unchecked or put under control by the executive of the Chiefs’ Council until alleged invasions in July, 2021 and in February 2023 of the Opu-Nembe, Bassambiri, Community. As is usual with clashes of rival gangs or youths.

“Rather than dealing with the so-called invaders which they claimed they know, the Ayerite Ebinimi Moses led youth leadership, hiding under the guise of these invasions has been wreaking havoc on the Opu-Nembe Bassambiri Community.

“It has become a phenomenal act of the youths of Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri) to send on exile any perceived enemies who tries to speak against their criminal reign and fetishism in the community.

“Precisely on Saturday, 8′ July 2023, the president of the youths federation, Ayerite Ebinimi Moses pronounced the exiling of 28 Chiefs from Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri), that the said Chiefs attended the birthday party of His Excellency, Chief (Hon.) Timipre Marlin Sylva, former Minister of Petroleum, State.

“We cannot decipher the rationale that prompted such a prerogative and bizarre act.

The question is: when did such an act of celebrating with a son and brother on his birthday become a crime in Opu-Nembe and/or anywhere in the world? And the consequence of such is the loosing of the right of citizenship or indigeneship of the Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri) Community.

“Fragrant Violation of the constitutional provisions bothering on freedom of association, and of speech. We the affected traditional chiefs and prominent people of the community do not comprehend what section of the Nigerian Constitution vis-à-vis the constitution of the Opu-Nembe Council of Chiefs was violated by us, regarding the attending of someone’s birthday party.

“We, therefore, would want to ask: on what premises and temerity the youth president and his cohorts are exercising the power to ostracize or exile us and our houses immediately invaded, vandalized, and property looted away?

“Therefore, we are calling on relevant law enforcement agencies, such as the Police, Military (JIF), DSS, etc. to come to our aid and enthrone peace in the community.

“There should be the permanent occupation of military personnel in good numbers to forestall further unleashing of mayhem, gangsterism, rape and cultism by Mr.Ayerite Ebinimi Moses led youths body on the innocent and law-abiding citizens of Opu-Nembe community. A stitch in time saves nine.”

Reacting to the allegations on the phone, the youth vice president of Opu Nembe, Collins Nimibofa said that it was at the birthday party that they made the plan of arresting the Nembe constituency 2 House of Assembly member, Edward Brigidi.

He said “There were petitions written to indict all of us. If those chiefs that went for the party, their sons were killed in the attack, would they have gone?

“Those chiefs that attended that birthday after hearing the promises that Sylva made to the community that he will arrest and prosecute those that were involved in the attack, if their sons were killed would they have gone for the birthday party? Let us call a spade a spade.

” The woman they said I kidnaped is my step-grandmother. She is married to my step-grandfather. If at all I kidnapped her, there would have been a police report.

“All those ones are just propaganda in the game of politics. The election is coming up and they hitting up the polity with their fake propaganda just to score cheap points.

“Everything you see playing out today is because of November 11, after November 11, you will not hear anything again.

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