Posted by News Express | 27 May 2016 | 2,773 times
The Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers (COTRA) on Friday morning repeated its call “on the Nigeria Authorities to release abducted traditional ruler and the chief of Yeghe community, Barinaadaa T.D. Gbaranee, who was forcefully taken from Bori on Monday May 23, 2016 on his way back to his village.”
A COTRA statement signed by the Chairman, HRH King Suanu T.Y. Baridam, a copy of which was made available to News Express, said: “Contrary to the army’s claim, Chief Barinaadaa was not invited by any security agency and failed to honour the invitation. We maintain that where a chief fails to honour such invitation, the appropriate thing to do is to seek the assistance of the Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers; where that fails, the matter should be brought before the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers before further actions can be taken.
“COTRA maintains that the abduction of Chief Barinaadaa T.D. Gbaranee by the army occurred directly opposite the All Saints Anglican Church, Bori.
“We view this act as an humiliation and assault on the integrity of the entire Ogoni people and its chieftaincy institutions. We note that such action portends great threats to the peace of Ogoniland.
“COTRA wishes to emphasise its suspicion of sinister motives behind the Nigerian Army’s presence in Ogoniland with reference to recent killings and in particular, the continual harassment, intimidation and violation of the rights of innocent citizens of Yeghe community and Ogoni as a whole.
“We call for the immediate release of Chief Barinaadaa T.D. Gbaranee to us and urge the army authorities to investigate the actions of its forces in Ogoniland.
“We urge the international community to prevail on Nigeria to respect the rights of the citizens of Ogoniland. We note that the Ogoni people have had a long history of army and state sponsored persecution and will expect that in a democratic setting, its sad history will be allowed to fade away.”
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