King Bob-Manuel remains duly recognised first class monarch, says Wike
By Valentine Amanze
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has declared that the Amayanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael Bob-Manuel, remains a duly recognised First Class Traditional Ruler in the state.
Wike stated that no one could depose a First Class Traditional Ruler in the state without the approval of the Rivers State government.
During a visit by the Amayanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael Bob-Manuel, and Abonnema Council of Chiefs at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, Governor Wike regretted that security agencies allowed themselves to be used by some persons to illegally intervene in chieftaincy affairs.
His words: "Nobody has deposed you (Amayanabo of Abonnema). It is only the state government that has the power to depose a First Class Traditional Ruler and we have no intention to depose the Amayanabo of Abonnema.
"Our security agencies have gone so low that they are now involved in everything, including chieftaincy affairs. Soon, they will involve themselves in husband and wife issues. Can they carry an Emir like that? Can they carry an Oba like that. We pray they withdraw from such illegal activity ".
The governor however charged youths of Abonnema to remain on the alert in the defence of their traditional heritage, saying, no group should be allowed to distort the traditional order.
The governor decried the situation where prominent elderly people from the area refused to understand the meaning of peace, hence they have resorted to instigating crisis.
He assured the Abonnema Council of Chiefs that he will take up the matter with the State Commissioner of Police and also make a formal report at the Nigerian Army headquarters on the illegal deployment of soldiers to arrest the Amayanabo of Abonnema.
He wondered why the feuding Abonnema United Founding Fathers would spread the false report that some persons were planning to kill Chief OB Lulu-Briggs.
"I don't know whether they know the implication of the crisis they are generating. There is no need for anyone to create crisis in a very peaceful community ", he said.
He stated that the entire Abonnema conflict was politically motivated and aimed at achieving pre-meditated political goals.
Governor Wike assured the people of Abonnema that his administration would continue to execute meaningful projects in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area.
"Abonnema people supported us totally. We will do more for the people of Abonnema ", he said.
Amayanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael Bob-Manuel, had said that he came with Abonnema Council of Chiefs to seek the protection of the governor from persons using the security agencies to illegally disrupt the traditional order in the area.
He informed the Rivers State Governor that plans had been concluded to arrest him on trump up allegations, noting that the Inspector General of Police and the Nigerian Army are involved in the scheme.
He added that soldiers invaded Abonnema town with the intent of installing Chief OB Lulu-Briggs as a Regent, but were resisted by youths, women and elders.
"They are laying the ground for the perpetration of impunity. I seek your protection and that of the Rivers State Government. They want to arrange the basis to infringe on my freedom. I urge the Rivers State Governor to intervene", he said.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (m) Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo (r) and Amayanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael Bob-Manuel after the solidarity visit of the Abonnema Council of Chiefs to the Government House Port Harcourt on Wednesday.