…Commissioner Bebenimibo Speaks (An exclusive)
By Binebai Princewill
Counter and cross counter reactions have continued to trail the alleged manhandling of Comr. James Etimadimene, Youth President of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom by security men attached to Dr. Paul Bebenimibo, Commissioner representing Ijaw Ethnic Nationality on the Board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission ( DESOPADEC).
According to one Comr. Francis Etimadimene, a brother to the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Youth President who posted the matter on Wednesday 13th of October 2021 on his Facebook timeline had alleged that Commissioner Paul Bebenimibo had brutalized his brother to the point of having some health challenges.
In his words: “It is so disheartening and appalling that, the youth president of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom and his PRO could be treated and molested in this manner by Hon. Paul Bebenimibo, the commissioner representing Ijaw nationality in DESOPADEC, his body guards, John Anegba his PA and his personal security men (Mopol).
“It all started when the youth president of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom had that, two youth empowerment forms had been given to each kingdom by the commission, the youth president had to visit the commissioner’s office to pickup that of Ogbe-Ijoh, but the commissioner, Hon. Paul Bebenimibo vehemently denied him of the forms, stating that, Ogbe-Ijoh was not an oil producing kingdom and it ended with an argument, the commissioner immediately ordered his boys and security men to rough handle the president like a common criminal, in the process, his Android phone was damaged, they were forcefully taken to Ekpan police station.
“The president got home late in the evening but couldn’t have stable state of health due to the massive and heavy brutality. He is now being attended to medically both native. This is inhumane and barbaric from a leader of his position.” Comr. James Francis had stated.
This is condemnable – Bene Mamamu
On his part, a youth leader in Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom, Comr. Mamamu Bene Youkore, popularly known as young Chief has condemned the alleged act by the commissioner, stressing that on no account despite the level of provocation should the commissioner who is a public office holder resort to beaten up his supposed subject.
He noted that the Ijaws are one and there should be no room for hatred between the People of Gbaramatu Kingdom and that of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom, adding that such act is unacceptable.
Speaking further, Youkore had while condemning the act in strong terms have asserted that the entire Youths of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom are not happy with the manhandling of their youth President, stressing that President James Etimadimene has been humiliated and that of the entire youths of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom by the commissioner.
“This is not fair and responsible at all, as brothers, we must learn to leave peacefully as one big family”. Youkore
This is totally unacceptable – Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom IYC
Nevertheless, The Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom structure of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) have also described the act as “totally unacceptable “.
This was contained in a statement personally signed and issued to newsmen in Warri yesterday by Amb. Victor Akemotubo Chairman IYC Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide.
In their words: “It has come to the notice of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom that the Commissioner Representing Ijaw Ethnic Nationalities in the board of Desopadec Hon Paul Bebenimibo yesterday being Wednesday the 13th of October, 2021 asked his security guards to beat up the youth President of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom Comr Etimadimene James.
“As we speak the Youth president James Etimadimene is in the hospital responding to treatment.
“The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom condemn the act meted out on our president by the commissioner.
“ON THIS NOTE WE REQUEST THAT
“1. Hon Paul Bebenimibo should render an open apology to the people of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom and her youths
“2. That as a matter of urgency tender an unreserved apology to the Youth president of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom
“In conclusion we call on youths of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom to be calm and law abiding as leaders will curtail the issue.
“God bless Ogbe-ijoh Warri kingdom and God bless the IYC.”
Let us be calm, We Are Brothers – Arex Akemotubo
A prominent political leader in Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom and a business tycoon, Dcn Arex Akemotubo, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Okowa on political matters cum Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Waffi Tv group of companies have called for calmness among his people.
He hinted The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide that he was part of those that quell the situation on Wednesday at the Ekpan Police Station, stressing that as brothers “we should let love lead “.
The Waffi Tv CEO had maintained that he is thankful to the Lord Almighty for making him have information on the matter quickly, stressing that they are still on the matter hence people should be diplomatic in their reactions regarding the issue.
Ijaws will continue to be one, we are inseparable – Gbaramatu Youth Council PRO
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Gbaramatu Youth Council, apex youth body in the Kingdom, Comr. Godstime Ayetan had while narrating his own side of the story who witnessed the whole imbroglio asserted that the entire Ijaws are one and there would be no need for Gbaramatu Kingdom and Ogbe-Ijoh Kingdom to have issues because of such matter.
In his words: “I was actually at the office of Commissioner Paul Bebenimibo at Jakpa road in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State on that day.
“When I got there, I saw some other youth leaders too in the office but I was told that the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Youth President was already inside having a discussion with the commissioner.
“Not quite long, I was hearing voices which suggests that they might be some misunderstanding, in the process, the commissioner including his security men where of the opinion that he had prior before then been harassed by the youths.
“It was this argument that continued until the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom youth President was taken to the Ekpan Police Station, all these while, as a youth I was only trying to broker peace between the two as I did not really know what happened inside.
“I also want to quickly thank Comr. Arex Akemotubo for tackling the issue by talking to the commissioner to release the youth President whom was to write undertaken at the station, however, the commissioner also listened to him and others hence the president was immediately released after pleading for forgiveness” Ayetan narrated.
They have been embarrassing and harassing me frequently – Commissioner Paul Bebenimibo
Meanwhile, in a contrary opinion, the commissioner representing Ijaw Ethnic Nationality on the Board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission ( DESOPADEC ), Dr. Paul Bebenimibo had noted that his action towards the youth President of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom was to put an end to the alleged incessant harassment and embarrassment to him.
He noted that he is also an Ogbe-Ijoh son maternally, stressing that each time he goes to Ogbe-Ijoh, he will be facing one form of embarrassment or harassment, adding that enough is enough.
In his words: “Ogbe-Ijoh and Diebiri youths have been harassing me to the point that they came to kill me yesterday in my office. If you remember, they protested against my appointment in 2019. It has continued till yesterday. I am from Ogbe-Ijoh maternally.
“As I chat with you, my mother is in Ogbe-Ijoh. But each time I go to Ogbe-Ijoh, they harass and embarrassed me till yesterday. When they came yesterday to kill me, I asked my police to arrest them and took them to Ekpan police station.
“I went to write my report and wanted to take the matter to court, but they begged me in the presence of Arex and others. So I let the matter be as the police warned them to desist from harassing me.”
However, all efforts geared towards reaching out to authorities of the Ekpan Police Station to hear their own side of the story have been unsuccessful as at the time of filing this report.