An Appeal To Governor Douye Diri To Allow Opu-nembe People Live  In Peace


February 21, 2024
The Inspector General of Police
Louis Edet House

Yesterday, February 20, 2024, the State government has again made a surreptitious move to reignite a conflict which is gradually fading away in our minds. Government House has written a petition to the National Security Adviser, in the name of some fictitious names and characters in Bassambiri. The petition titled " Bayelsa Indigenes Petition National Security Adviser, Ribadu Over Oil Theft, Other Atrocities By Police SWAT In Communities" is another attempt to cause bloodletting in our peaceful Kingdom

SINCE the 2021 crisis in the Opu-Nembe Kingdom, triggered by the sectional policies of the Governor Diri administration, Diri has been playing a negative role in the Community. Governor Douye Diri demonstrated his resolve to destabilize Opu-Nembe for political reasons. In 2023, things came to a head when the Diri backed Youth Leader Mr Ayerite Moses started burning down the houses of perceived opponents, flogging reputable Chiefs of the Community and stealing the resources accruing to the Kingdom. The kingdom was in turmoil until the Inspector General of Police deployed a detachment of the Special Weapon and Tactical Team (SWAT) to maintain peace and security and to protect lives and property in the Community.

When the SWAT got to the Community all the people including the Chiefs aiding and abetting criminal activities fled Opu-Nembe and took refuge in Government House. They were not chased away. A leader who is determined to restore peace and civil order will not arm a section of the youths to cause shorting arson and other kinds of mayhem. THERE is a saying that a Leopard cannot change it's colour. The Opu-Nembe Community is not surprised that the Governor Diri backed miscreants are making a last ditch attempt to bring back those criminals to destroy the Community Diri is working hard to remove the SWAT - the peace makers from Opu-Nembe.

Now let's look at the WICKED petition instigated by the governor Diri administration and his bad company.

The petition was published on Sahara Reporters on February, 20, 2024. It was addressed to Malam Nuhu Robadu -the National Security Adviser loaded with frivolous allegations. More than half of the purported petitioners are fictitious names conjured from Creek Haven. The killers and arsonists living under government protection have started using fake names to write petitions.

All the allegations of illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalisation, violence and violation of the fundamental human rights of indigenes are not only mendacious but well orchestrated to delude the NSA. For those who know, the people of Opu-Nembe have been living in peace since the SWAT came to the Community. All social amenities such as water and power supply, which the enemies denied the people have been restored. SWAT is a blessing to the people of Opu-Nembe people. All thanks to the Inspector General of Police.

The call for the unconditional withdrawal of the SWAT personnel from Opu-Nembe Kingdom is not only mischievous and misguided but also ill-motivated. Such calls can only be made by people who begrudge the Opu-Nembe people for living in peace and social progress. We cannot go back to Egypt. For the benefit of those who do not know what is happening in the Community, the peace that has been entrenched in Opu-Nembe has robbed off on all legitimate businesses thriving in the kingdom. The Community has an internal mechanism to resolve any conflict. Small scale businesses are thriving too. The National Security Adviser can send an independent team to verify for himself. Civil order and the respect for human rights has been well established. Unfortunately whereas the miscreants allege that atrocities are being committed in the Opu-Nembe Nembe Kingdom, the petitioners could not point at a single incident of such atrocities.

It is a wretched falsity that the former Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva is allegedly sponsoring bunkering activities in Nembe and Brass LGAs. Chief Timpre Sylva is one of the persons who worked hard to stamp out the vandalization of oil facilities in the Niger Delta It was he who placed a mechanism in place to stop oil bunkering and other illegal activities that impacted negatively on oil production.

It is the weirdest imagination of the State governor to make such spurious allegations against a man who is in court with him about the manipulated governorship election results. The surveillance contractors and the youth groups in the Community are working 247 to ensure the security of oil installations is given top priority.

On the contrary the deposed Youth President MR AYERITE MOSES and some State government sponsored goons have been on rampage, assaulting peace loving Opu-Nembe Chiefs and youths in Yenagoa. For example on Saturday Feb 18 2024, Mr Ayerite and some paid militants kidnapped Chief KIENGHOSUOTE DEGI, who was severely beaten and was taken to their killing ground. It was Intel that enabled the Police to rescue him. He was admitted at the DIETE-KOKI MEMORIAL HOSPITAL OPOLO, YENAGOA. Before then, the son of the King of Oluasiri Clan was beaten and butchered. He is still recuperating. in an undisclosed health facility. These are facts, not mere allegations. The sad reality is that GOVERNOR DOUYE DIRI is the man promoting and sponsoring this evil plot against the Opu-Nembe Kingdom.

As we speak, some of those wicked Chiefs such as Chief Numonkari Walter Beniwari (aka Odogwu), Chief Ezekiel Ikoli and Mr. Ayetite Moses and their co- travelers live in Government House Yenagoa. Their goal is to attempt to deceive top government officials like the NSA to withdraw SWAT so they can initiate a free reign of terror, killing and destruction of property.

Another hypocrisy of the Diri administration is the setting up of a Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the Nembe-Bassambiri crisis on the 15th of February, 2023. Government overlooked the root of the problem which occured in 2021. On the 19th of January 2024, the Governor received the report from the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and immediately set up an implementation committee. The implementation committee was headed by the immediate past Secretary to State Government, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei. Any attempt to address the causes of the Nembe-Bassambiri conflict must be holistic and comprehensive. The Diri administration may inadvertently stoke the embers of conflict any without addressing the fundamental causes of the conflict. It is an irony that the Chief security officer of Bayelsa State is now embarking on destruction of an ancient kingdom because of politics.

It is our hope and belief that this desperate horde of miscreants should not be allowed to implement an agenda of chaos against the collective conscience of the people and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

SWAT is part of the Nigerian Police. It is therefore ridiculous that a group of people who claim to be law abiding are calling for the withdrawal of SWAT, which has been instrumental to peace-building in the Kingdom.

Let us reaffirm our commitment to sustaining the peace in spite of the provocative behaviour of Governor Douye Diri and the hoodlums under his protection. The goal of government is to conquer the Opu-Nembe Kingdom and persecute the people because of political differences. We want the office of the NSA to investigate the veracity or otherwise of the claims of the petitioners.

The Opu-Nembe Kingdom has existed for more than 1500 years and it is a Kingdom with a built-in mechanism of self-governance. We are living in peace and we wish to use this opportunity to express our gratitude to the IGP for the assistance when we needed it most Our appeal is clear: the withdrawal of the SWAT team is an invitation to anarchy, lawlessness and chaos. We also call on the NSA to caution constituted authorities such as the governor of Bayelsa State who has compromised the security architecture of the State because of petty political considerations.

We are aware that the primary purpose of government is to protect lives and property, and that of Bayelsa State cannot be otherwise

Yours faithfully,
Dr. John Idumange
Yenagoa-Bayelsa State
Cc: The National Security Adviser