Politics

Bayelsa Dep Gov clarifies govt’s position on Akenfa communal crisis

Bayelsa

By Aherhoke Okioma

The Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has clarified the state government’s recent declaration reinstating some community leaders of Akenfa-Epie Community, saying it did not include the immediate past Community Development Committee Chairman of the community.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo said the clarification had become imperative to clear an impression created by a statement that emanated from his media office conveying government’s position on the Akenfa-Epie intra-communal crisis.

He noted that while it is true that the state government rejected the removal of the Obeniken of Akenfa, His Royal Highness Obadiah Osom John, as earlier declared by the Epie Council of Chiefs and ordered his reinstatement, the order does not include the former CDC Chairman of the community.

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According to Senator Ewhrudjakpo, government recognizes the present CDC Chairman of Akenfa-Epie community, Mr Joram Ofiemuya, who was said to have been duly elected in line with the provisions of the constitution of the community.

Justifying government’s action, the Deputy Governor reiterated that no individual or institution including the Epie Council of Chiefs reserves the right to dethrone any government recognized traditional ruler without the approval of the Governor as prescribed in the Bayelsa State Chieftaincy Law.

He, however, pointed out that although the extant chieftaincy law confers a lifetime occupancy on government recognized traditional rulers, such community leaders who flagrantly violate their communities’ constitutions and the state chieftaincy law could be removed through the right procedure.

Consequently, he advised the Obeniken of Akenfa-Epie and other paramount rulers to abide by their constitutions and the law in piloting the affairs of their various communities to avoid the wrath of the state government.

While expressing regret over any inconveniences caused by the press statement issued last Friday by his media office following the reconciliation meeting with the two feuding factions, the deputy governor once again appealed to both parties to close ranks for the peace and development of their community.

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