Opu-Nembe crisis: former lawmaker wants police neutrality, justice for Feb 15 victims

Until justice is done, attaining and achieving long-lasting peace in Opu-Nembe will remain wishful thinking.

Israel Sunny-Goli

Yenagoa—A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Hon. Israel Sunny-Goli has charged the acting Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun to ensure neutrality in the investigation of the ongoing crisis in Opu-Nembe, Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.

Sunny-Goli, who is the immediate past lawmaker representing Brass-Nembe Federal Constituency, gave the charge at a media parley in Yenagoa on Wednesday.

He insisted that until the root cause of the incessant upheavals in Opu Nembe is addressed, by ensuring that all the actors behind the crisis are brought to book, there will be no peace and order in the community.

The Bayelsa-born politician argued that the deployment of a detachment of Mobile Policemen (PMF) and SWAT operatives from the Force Headquarters, Abuja, has thrown the community into a state of palpable fear, anxiety as well as mourning.

While recalling that the community was relatively peaceful after the peace brokered by the King of Opu-Nembe, Sunny-Goli however expressed sadness that the peace accord was violated on 15th February 2023 when certain individuals unleashed mayhem that claimed three lives.

He believes that until those fingered for the February 15 2023 attack are arrested and prosecuted peace cannot be restored in the community.

Sunny-Goli who equally called on the IGP to withdraw his team from Opu-Nembe over allegations of bias expressed that the Joint Task Force can resolve the security situation.

“Regrettably, the perpetrators of the 15th February 2023 unprovoked attack on unarmed Opu-Nembe citizens have not been brought to justice, thus walking freely.

“I make bold to say that until justice is done, attaining and achieving long-lasting peace in Opu-Nembe will remain wishful thinking.

“In the light of the above, I am calling on the Acting Inspector General of Police, to without bias, and for the sake of justice, ensure that all the actors behind the unrest in Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri), are arrested and diligently prosecuted in order to serve as a deterrent to others, and restore peace and order to Opu Nembe Kingdom.

“May I also call on His Excellency, Sen. Douye Diri, to do all within his powers to ensure the restoration of peace and order in Opu-Nembe kingdom, by prevailing on the authorities of the Nigerian Police Force to withdraw the tactical team sent to Opu-Nembe, and in its place, set up a joint task force with a mandate to ensure the restoration of peace in the community, in order to allow all those who have fled from the community to return, and start living their normal lives,” the statement read in part.

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