… Ex-youth president threatens to sue community leadership
Simon Ogunde, Yenagoa
A prominent indigene of Opu-Lembe, Dr Kojo Sam has described as mischievous, wicked and unthinkable the allegations linking him and some persons to the recent invasion and killings in Opu-Nembe community of Bayelsa State.
Yet-to-be-identified gunmen had stormed the community on February 15, 2023, killing three persons in cold blood, a development that had sparked outrage across the state.
Earlier, the youth leader of Opu-Nembe, Ayerite Moses, had alleged in the statement that the killings were authorised by Dr Kojo as part of the plot to upstage him as the youth leader.
Also, on Tuesday during a news conference at Opu-Nembe Townhall, the Royal Throne and the entire Opu-Nembe Kingdom claimed that the mastermind of the attacks is Dr Kojo Sam, an indigene of the kingdom and others with the help of some hired militants from other communities.
They claimed Kojo prided himself as above the law, boasting that no security outfit in the country could invite him, let alone arrest him.
However, reacting to the allegations by the Council of Chiefs and the Youths leader, Dr Kojo Sam, denied having hand in the unfortunate incident and called on the relevant security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book.
He said: “Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri) has been under a serious savage since the inception of Ayerite Moses (Youth President) and grows curiously under the rulership of Chief Ezekiel Ikoli, the Chairman of Council of Chiefs.
“The press conference by the Council of Chiefs chairman lacked merit because I have no hand in the invasion of the community.
“It is a known fact that the Youth President has turned the community into a militant zone and its residents to political prisoners. Power, water, peace and other social amenities are long lost.
“There have been series of criminal acts carried out by Ayerite such as the shooting of Hon. Isreal Suny-Goli’s house and the Agrisaba attack which claimed some lives. Ayerite and his group exchanged fire against anti-kidnap police on their way to make arrests, and deliberately flogged an innocent boy to death, among other atrocities.”
“Ayerite Moses has been invited by security agencies on many occasions but failed to report himself which the council of chiefs chairman has used his influence to cover due to the fact that he fears Ayerite.”
He expressed surprise that issues of looting and demolition of properties of innocent indigenes related to him were not mentioned during the news conference.
“As I speak, they have destroyed my house. The properties inside, including the roof, have been sold, yet the Chairman of the Council of Chiefs refused to mention it for the public to know the wrong they have done to me for an incident I know nothing about,” he lamented.
Also speaking, former Youth President, Opu-Nembe, Comrade Iruo I. Theo, who was equally accused of involvement in the unfortunate incident, denied any involvement, alleging that the enemies of Ayerite were the ones fighting him but chose to blame innocent persons.
Theo said: “In due time, I shall challenge Chief Ikoli through legal means and he should prove with evidence that I was involved in the attack. “I also want to use this medium to inform him that his audio record when he was educating others about how equipped Ayerite arsenal (gun house) is available. I am not a coward and they should be ready to stand with me in a court of law.”