The Indigenes of the Peremabiri Community of the Southern Ijaw Local Government Council of Bayelsa State on Sunday staged a peaceful protest against persistent sponsored armed invasion of the community allegedly to forcefully install a Paramount ruler against the wish of the people of the area.
The Protesting Peremabiri Indigenes, numbering over a thousand and ,made up of Children, women, youths and Elders, warned that though the election crisis that rocked the community is over, the alleged sponsored attacks by the State Government and a member of the State House of Assembly and attempts to remove it’s Paramount Ruler, Chief Wisdom Ogiriki will be resisted.
The protesters, armed with placards with inscriptions such as ”Government should not impose a ruler on us”, “Enough of Military Intimidation”, “the need development not destruction” “Bring Back Peremabiri Rice Farm” and “we are not sea pirate”, declared that the community is peaceful and are comfortable with the exiting community leadership.
The Spokesman of the community, Chief Clifford Ogoro said though the entire community wondered why the State Government and some State Assembly members are bent on instigating repeated violence against the community despite the existing peace in the area, ” we have discovered that the State govt is doing this because we supported the APC during the last election. Politics is by choice. We are tired of persistent disturbance sponsored against the community.”
Also Speaking, the PRO of the Community, Mr. Roland Kente and the Youth leader, Marcus Prichard, said since the election of the new Paramount Ruler, there have been a new atmosphere of peace among indigenes and none indigenes alike.
While the Youth Leader, Marcus Prichard insisted that the youths have resolved to embrace peace and reject attempts by agents of the State Government to sponsored violence by hiring youths of the Community, the PRO, Roland Kente said instead of alleged sponsorship of violence against the peace in the community, the state government should focus of providing development projects including the re-activation of the Peremabiri Rice Farm and needed shore protection project.
Some Batch ‘B’ Corps members deployed to the area supported the call for sustained Peace in the community. The spokesperson for the Corps Members, Fatima Atoyebi, told newsmen that “We need sustained peace in the community. When the armed military men came to the community, we were also harassed but we thank God.”
When contacted yesterday in Yenagoa, a prominent Indigene of the Community and foremost ex-militant leader, Comrade Eris Paul, also known as Ogunboss, said the protest by the indigenes of the community was an affirmation of the existence of peace and a show of anger against repeated attempts by government and its agents to disrupt it,” Am not surprised that the people have decided that what they need is peace.”
“The Peremabiri is a community known for peace and they have won award for peace and zero tolerant to pipeline vandalism. The community has been assisting security agents against sea piracy and illegal oil bunkering.”
On the need to reconcile with the aggrieved members of the community, General Ogunboss said though the decision to reconcile and recall those aggrieved one is dependent on the Community Council of Chiefs, “As a prominent member of the community, we will ensure that those recalled are not victimized.”