The Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs have expressed displeasure over the failed appeals, efforts geared toward retrieving the stolen golden sword, the traditional symbol of authority of the Pere of Gbaramatu kingdom, stressing that the time frame for the return of the stolen golden sword has elapsed, adding that no compensation, monetary or otherwise would be necessary, as such cannot be accepted from the Nigerian state or her agents.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his visit to Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom barely two months ago, had ordered the immediate return of the Golden Sword which was taken away by the Nigerian military in their invasion.
The Pere-in-Council, after a careful evaluation of the situation and incident, and the attendant uncertainty the absence of the traditional symbol of authority have thrown the kingdom into, said the stolen symbol of authority can and would definitely avenge its desecration.
In an eleven-paragraphs statement signed by the Benemowei of Gbaramatu kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama; Chief Clark Gbenewei, Tubainghawei of Gbaramatu kingdom; Chief (Elder) Oyagha P. T. Heavens (JP), Ebi-egberigbawei of Gbaramatu kingdom; Chief Vero Tangbowei, national women leader of Gbaramatu kingdom; Chief Matthew Pudie, Tebudiwei of Gbaramatu kingdom and Chief Samuel Okirika, Ibe-korewei of Gbaramatu kingdom on behalf of the traditional council, they said that; “in line with the Egbesu tradition and practice, the Council shall replace the stolen sword for effective governance of the kingdom.
The statement read in part, “The Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs wish to bring to the attention of the kingdom, Nigerians and the international community of the failed appeals, entreaties and efforts geared towards retrieving the stolen golden sword, the traditional symbol of authority of the Pere of Gbaramatu kingdom by the invading Nigerian military at the Egbesu inner shrine in Oporoza town, the headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom on May 28th, 2016. Since the unwarranted aggression, the kingdom has lived without this well-revered traditional symbol of authority.
“Traditional Council in line with the Egbesu tradition and practice shall replace the stolen sword for effective governance of the kingdom.
“The rites of cleansing and processing to replace the golden sword have started in the kingdom.
“The Council of Chiefs wish to advise and plead with all who had and are still making efforts to retrieve the stolen symbol of authority to stop forthwith as its return is no more necessary.
“The Pere-in-Council wish to thank all Ijaws and Nigerians for their support and efforts while the ordeal lasted.
The Pere-in-Council therefore appealed to sons and daughters of Gbaramatu kingdom to keep the peace during and after the process of the rites of replacement of the golden sword of traditional authority.
Recall, the Nigerian military invaded Gbaramatu kingdom on May 28th, 2016, and carted away the well-revered traditional symbol of authority, molesting and harassing youths and elders in Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of the kingdom.
Not only did the military harassed people in Oporoza alone, they went further to invade neighboring communities such as Kurutie, Kunukunuma, Kokodiagbene, Okerenkoko etc, beating anyone on sight in these communities. The former warlord, Government Ekpemepolo also known as Tompolo lost his 80 year-old father to these aggressive men.