From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The people of Opu-Nembe represented by all sectors of the community have described as unpatriotic and selfish recent comments attributed to former Senator Bayelsa East, Senator Biobarakuma Degi- Eremienyo which attempted to cast aspersion on the noble efforts of the special Police team deployed to the community to restore peace by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun.

Senator Degi had recently in a statement called for the withdrawal of the Police team alleging that they are conniving with some youths to foment trouble and vandalise property.

The people in statement titled: The Misplaced Anxiety of Senator Biobarakuma Degi- Eremienyo signed by all sectors of the community represented by the Chairman, Deputy Chief Council, Chief Okolo Dede, Chairman, Elders Council, Indoma Igbalbo, Chairman special elders council, Igbogi Yemabise Amalagha, Chairman CDC, Mr Konbonimi Awori, Youth President, Mr Toinpre Sambo, Young Ladies President, Mrs Beatrice Awululu Numoyu and Chairman Opu- Nembe Council of Chiefs, Chief Yousuo Theo Iruo, stated said Senator Degi’s comment was meant to undermine the peace efforts of the Police.

While condemning Senator’s Degi actions, they noted that his unfounded allegation was further demonstrated by his claims that the IGP team was deployed because of the Bayelsa governorship election when the whole world was aware that the Police were brought to Opu- Nembe in August 2023, three clear months before the elections due to the orgy of violence, wanton destruction and human rights abuses visited on the community by renegades who have since being sacked from their positions at the Chiefs Council and the youth council.

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The people’s representatives further stated that it is insincere for Senator Degi who could not speak up when the community was under the grip of a terror gang to now come around and make unfounded claims when peace has returned to the community.

The statement read in part: Senator Degi is definitely yet to come to terms over his failed bid to return to the Senate and currently groping in the political wilderness. We wish to remind him that we were not the ones responsible for his dismal performance at the polls.

“We wish to further state that we have no conflict with the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri and the state government. The people who are afraid to return to the community are those who have consistently sabotaged the development and well-being of Opu-Nembe. It is their conscience that is fighting them, not the people.

“We as a people collectively pass a vote of confidence on the Police team in Opu- Nembe, and commend the IGP, Mr Kayode Egbetokun for his steadfastness and commitment to the security of lives and property in our community. We want to assure him we will continue to work for peace and progress in the community.