Reactions have continued to trail the alleged faceoff between the Amanyanabo of Okochiri, King Michael Ateke Tom and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs.
The most recent is from a prominent Kalabari Chief, Chief Ibim Iyibo Young-Briggs. A statement made available to Africa Update reads:
“I, Chief Ibim Iyibo Young-Briggs attention has been drawn to a video recording by Mr. Richard Akinaka, a cousin and relative to King Michael Ateke Tom, the Amanyanabo of Okochiri, in Rivers State to the effect that Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs cast aspersions on King Ateke Tom during the recent pro-SARS rally in Port Harcourt. My immediate reaction is that, the Dumo Lulu-Briggs that I know wont insult anybody, no matter how young or lowly, how much more an Ijaw King.
“I am moved as a Kalabari Chief, to say unequivocally and without prejudice that Dumo Lulu-Briggs is a notable and respected Rivers indigene, who has distinguished himself not only academically, but in his chosen fields of human endeavor, a distinguished legal luminary and a very successful business and corporate oil mogul.
“In addition to all these sterling attributes, I make bold to say that Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs is a passionate lover and champion of the revered Ijaw culture and tradition and would never talk carelessly about an Ijaw king or any king for that matter.
“I have seen all the video footages emanating from the pro-SARS march and there was nowhere Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs either hinted, insinuated or cast aspersions against King Ateke Tom.
“I am tempted to believe that the anti-Ateke slogans is the handiwork of fifth columnists who infiltrated the ranks during the pro-SARS solidarity march, considering that it attracted all manner of persons.
“I want to repeat that the Dumo Lulu-Briggs that I know does not talk carelessly and I am very pleased to hear Mr. Akinaka boldly and proudly support the struggle and crusade for the emergence of a Rivers State governor of Ijaw extraction and to hear his confirmation that King Ateke Tom has been and is still a strong advocate of this noble cause.
“I want to reassure King Ateke Tom that we are all united on this score and victory and success will be achieved with prominent voices like that of the respected Amayanabo of Okochiri.
God Bless King Michael Ateke Tom and the great people of Okochiri kingdom.
God Bless the Rivers Ijaw brotherhood.
God Bless Rivers state.
Chief Ibim Iyibo Young-Briggs
Briggs Compound, Abonnema