Posted by News Express | 13 August 2019 | 1,084 times
Leader of the Conscience of Ogoni People, Chief Gani Topba, has challenged the Rivers State Government on his position regarding the unfortunate death of Dr. Ferry Gberegbe.
Chief Gani Topba has further called on the Rivers State Government to refute his report that Royal Dutch Shell (SPDC) “in partnership with some powerful forces paid a whopping 1 billion US dollars into an account of the Rivers State Government, money meant for the suffering people of Belema and OfoinAma communities, particularly the Oko family hosting OML 25 oil facilities, when the community has a trusted leadership that can manage their affairs.”
Below is the edited version of his response to the Rivers State Government, which he made available to News Express via e-mail:
On “Saturday July 27th 2019, the public can recall that I was guest on Rythm 93.7 FM news and current affairs program View Point, a popular live radio interview show anchored by ace broadcaster Segun Owolabi in Port Harcourt.
“Following fall-out of that radio appearance, on Wednesday 1st of August 2019, recall also that I granted another world press conference wherein I responded to the Chief of Staff Rivers State Government’s challenge to me on my position regarding the unfortunate death of Dr Ferry Gberegbe. I also used the occasion to bare my mind on Chief Emeka Woke’s disgraceful radio invasion.
“In view of the above, I, leader of Conscience of the Ogoni People wish to unequivocally reinstate that I stand by all the statements I made on both occasions.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me once again reiterate as follows:
1.That the Rivers State Governor deliberately refused to visit ailing Dr Ferry Gberegbe while in hospital but chose to visit his widow with full compliments of the leadership of his party less than an hour after his death, to make news on the moment and score cheap political points. The Government of Rivers State cannot absolve herself of complicity in the death of Dr Ferry Gberegbe
“2. That the Rivers State Government has not paid any money into the account of late Dr Ferry Gberegbe’s widow, as was widely promised and publicized. I challenge whoever that want to disprove me to publish account details of the bank account in which the sum of 200 million Naira was paid into.
“3. That the armature video purportedly showing how Dr Ferry Gberegbe was shot was recorded by an aide to Prince Sudor Nwiyor, current ASUP Chairman Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic Bori Chapter, a partisan fellow, as a result its authenticity or otherwise must be subjected to an independent forensic audit.
“4. That why would the Rivers State Government not fly Dr Gberegbe abroad for proper medical treatment as it is done to other kinsmen and cronies of the Governor?
“5. That Dr Ferry Gberegbe went through operation in an “obscured” St Patrick’s Hospital Port Harcourt, he managed to survive days after bullets have been removed from his stomach. And so, the belief that he was killed through poisonous substances is a serious question that is still left unanswered.
“6. During that interview, I also alerted the public about how late Dr Ferry Gberegbe’s family has been evacuated from their rented apartments and children chased out of school over inability to pay for their fees. Nobody has disproved me on this.
“7. I also told the public that bullet(s) that shot Dr Ferry Gberegbe is also believed to be coming from the gun of suspected political thugs allegedly hired by a well-known union rival.
“8. That I demand the conduct of an independent autopsy examination to ascertain the real cause of the death of Dr Ferry Gberegbe, whether it is of food poison or from who and of which bullet(s) that shot him.
“9. During that press briefing, I had also informed that general public on the attack on my life following the Chief of Staff’s infamous invasion of the radio station I was guest. I had condemned the illegal and unethical behaviour of Chief Emeka Woke, wherein I described his actions as an attack on democracy and freedom of the press. I had challenged the NUJ, civil rights organisations and other well-meaning individuals to rise and condemn the act and defend the press being an institution of democracy.
“10. I’ve said before that I am not a politician and so I never intended to dabble in the political controversies surrounding Dr Ferry Gberegbe’s death, because I believe also that the spirit of the departed should rest in peace. But for the unbecoming conduct of Engr Emeka Woke, Chief of Staff Government House who posed the challenge, hence my response.
“11. Apart from the issues surrounding Dr Ferry Gberegbe’s death which was never my intended topic for discussion on radio, regrettably, the real vexed issues relating the Rivers State Government’s insincerity on OML 25, been the actual reason I appeared on radio is still not attended to.
“12. It is important to note that I mentioned in my interview that Royal Dutch Shell (SPDC) in partnership with some powerful forces paid a whopping 1 billion US dollars into an account of the Rivers State Government, money meant for the suffering people of Belema and OfoinAma communities, particularly the Oko family hosting OML 25 oil facilities, when the community has a trusted leadership that can manage their affairs. Again, none of those media attack dogs have been able to prove me wrong on this.
“Unfortunately, I have discovered that it was a deliberate antics by the Rivers State Government to derail me and the unsuspecting public from the real vexed issues surrounding the suffering minorities of the people Belema and OfoinAma communities particularly the Oko family, but I refused to be distracted.
“Until this moment, it is sad that none of the troubling questions I have raised have ever been answered. Not even the procured distance nephew – one who was an enemy to Dr Ferry Gberegbe before his death, who was quickly recruited by a “Wike Solidarity Movement” (WSM) leader and commissioner designate to respond on his behalf and not of the family, to try to cover his mess in other not to jeopardise his chances of gaining political appointment, could not also disprove the facts contained in my interview.
“In that press release, sadly the hired family/WSM enemy of Dr Ferry did not worry about the groaning and pitiable condition of his late nephew’s children and family, painfully he was dwelling on the academic qualifications of the deceased and needless ascendancy theorem of the current ASUP chairman. Is that what a true brother should do? Certainly not.
“As a friend and true Babbe son, same clan with late Dr Ferry Gberegbe, I am aware that the family of my late friend has not disagreed with my opinion.
“In summary, of all the barrage of paid attention seekers that has greeted my famous media outing, none of them had been able to respond to the real issues contained therein.
“Rather than provide concrete responses to the facts and real issues I’ve presented or otherwise disprove me with superior facts which is what the public is interested in, what they do now is to resort to sponsorship of their apologies and forcefully deceiving vulnerable political appendages, promising them of a non-existing political appointments to rain abuses and publish unprintable words on my personality. But I am not perturbed; I am at peace with myself because I believe in the truth in all the things I said.
“Let me reinstate for the umpteenth time that I, Chief Gani Topba, leader of Conscience of Ogoni People, I do hereby stand by all what I have said both on the radio interview programme and during the press conference I granted.
“I challenge the Rivers State Government or anyone in doubt to deal with the substance of the issues and disprove me with verifiable facts accordingly.”
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