…. Directs Paramount Ruler to beg Epie Monarch


From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa


The Bayelsa State Government has ordered the immediate reinstatement of the paramount ruler, the CDC Chairman and other leaders of Akenfa Community that were illegally removed from office in the wake of the chieftaincy crisis that rocked the Epie community in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.


The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, who gave the order over the weekend at a reconciliation meeting with the two factions in the community in Government House, Yenagoa, urged both parties to embrace peace in the interest of their community and the state.


Senator Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement emphasized that no individuals or group of individuals can dethrone any occupant of a government recognized chieftaincy stool without the approval of the Governor as prescribed in the state chieftaincy law.


He, therefore, said the government does not accept the removal of the paramount ruler, Obeniken, of Akenfa-Epie, His Highness Josiah Osom Obadiah and the appointment of the youth president as the Acting ruler of the community.


The Deputy Governor, however, came down very hard on Chief Osom Obadiah, and directed him to tender an unreserved formal apology to the Obenibe of Epie Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Malla Sasime, over what he described as “an act of disrespect and insubordination” to the stool and person of the Epie Monarch.


Senator Ewhrudjakpo equally directed that the compound chief, community development committee (CDC) Chairman and members who were illegally removed on the orders of the paramount ruler, Chief Obadiah, should all be immediately restored to serve out their constitutional tenures.


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Emphasizing the need for the leaders and people of Akenfa as well as the entire Epie/Atissa communities to always maintain peace as host to the state capital, he appealed to the Epie Monarch to temper justice with mercy by forgiving the Obeniken of Akenfa for his unguarded statements and provocative actions.


His words: “The removal of the CDC Chairman and his members is illegal and they are ordered to be restored back to complete their tenure in office.


“The paramount ruler of Akenfa is also directed to go and apologize to the Obenibe, King Mala Sasime, not later than next week.


“We are also appealing to all the parties to sheathe their sword for peace to reign in Akenfa. We want to hear positive reports from our communities. So, all the interested parties should embrace peace to move the community forward.”


In his brief remarks, the Obenibe of Epie Kingdom, King Malla Sasime, said he was pleased with the state government for handling the matter in an “objective and mature manner” to achieve lasting peace in the community.


According to King Malla, he has no personal problem with His Highness Obadiah, but added that the paramount ruler of Akenfa had unnecessarily threatened to establish an autonomous or independent Akenfa kingdom.


Responding, the Obeniken of Akenfa Community, Chief Josiah Obadiah, thanked Senator Ewhrudjakpo for his intervention and promised that he would formally apologize to the Obenibe of Epie Kingdom as directed by the Deputy Governor.



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