The protest organised on Tuesday (today) at the Government House, Asaba, in Delta State, Nigeria, by the non-indigenous members of the Otulu Ogwashi-Uku community, has been rejected by members of the Ogwashi-Uku community.
It would be recalled that members of the Otulu community and other recruited bystanders were present at the Government House to protest what they termed the rejection of the traditional ruler they selected for Otulu.
The person who they claimed they selected as their Obi is one Francis Odiakose who also goes by Francis Oduwanor. Even, the Delta State Police Command had last week confirmed that Francis Odiakose was sought for his alleged actions and participations in several community clashes and breaches of law and order. Since the news of his pending arrest was leaked, Francis Odiakose has not been seen and is thought to be the person behind the organisation of todays protest at the government house.
In reacting to the protest, the Secretary to the Obi Traditional Council of Ogwashi-Uku, Chief Zeliwe Ojeogwu in a statement said, “The Ogwashi-Uku Community absolutely reject the fake, contrived, false, slanderous and baseless protest by non-indigenous members of our Otulu Ogwashi-Uku community who went to protest at the government House, Asaba, today 21/06/2022. We are aware that the vast majority of the people who were brought to the protest were forced into the buses by Francis Odiakose (WHO IS WANTED BY THE POLICE) and his gang members at gun point or asked to pay N10,000 if they refused to go for the protest.
“The Delta State government has made it clear in writing in April 2022 that Otulu is part of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom and is under our Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, HRM Obi Ifechukwude Aninshi Okonjo II. As far as we are concerned, this issue has been settled. The gang members from the Eastern Security Network and IPOB who Francis Odiakose (aka) Francis Oduwanor and Christopher Oduwanor are using to terrorise the entire area should be brought to book by the Delta State Police Command.
“While the constitution permits freedom of speech and protests, this has to be measured against giving wanted criminals permits to protest and an unnecessary platform. The police should intensify their effort to apprehend all those who have committed crimes so that they have their day in court and face justice. The Delta State Police Command should not permit Otulu to remain a hiding place for criminals who use it as a staging ground for their activities throughout Delta North.
“Members of the Ogwashi-Uku community are urged to continue to be law-abiding. We especially urge our youth who are particularly agitated with the actions and provocations by these people in Otulu not to take the law into their hands. To deal with injustice is sometimes a long process, but we want each and every one not to short circuit the process.
“Ogwashi-Uku was the headquarters of the old Asaba Division and is an important part of the State. We commend efforts by the State Government who have made it clear that they will not condone any criminality or breach of peace. The ball is squarely in the hands of the Police, and we hope they will rise to the challenge before Otulu becomes another Boko Haram domain.”
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