As a Kalabari-Ijaw son from Abonnema in Rivers State, I have been following with interest the media activities of one Chief Abiola Ogundokun of Iwoland in Ogun State, concerning the demise of High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs, a prominent Kalabari-Ijaw War-canoe Chief.
I have read a two-page publication by Chief Abiola Ogundokun in Vanguard and The Sun newspapers of Monday, June 10, 2019 captioned “High Chief (Dr.) O.B. Lulu-Briggs’ Demise: The Fictions, The Facts”, which according to the writer was in response to an earlier publication in The Punch and Thisday newspapers of Thursday, May 23, 2019 by Chiefs of Oruwari Briggs House of Abonnema titled “We do not know if High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs is dead or alive”.
I have also read another two-page advertorial by the same Chief Ogundokun captioned “The 7 Oruwari Briggs House Chiefs’ Tales: A Response to the Deceits, Falsehoods and Blackmail”. This is an obvious response to reaction to his first publication.
As a senior political associate of Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, I have restrained myself, lest I be adjudged biased, in making comments on the ongoing dispute in the Lulu-Briggs family since the demise of their patriarch .
But my journalist instinct won’t let me remain perpetually silent, especially as I read and re-read Chief Abiola Ogundokun’s second publication captioned “The 7 Oruwari Briggs House Chiefs’ Tales: A Response to the Deceits, Falsehoods and Blackmail”
The man comes across as a person crying far more than the bereaved and in so doing, he disrespects the privacy of the Lulu-Briggs family.
This meddlesome interloper is such an arrogant fellow; he infers that there are no elders in the entire War Canoe dynasty of Oruwari Briggs House, saying sarcastically, that “when there are no elders in the society, confusion becomes the order of the day”.
This amala-eating Yoruba man demeans the chiefs of Oruwari Briggs House, saying, “I do not blame these chiefs; they have only expressed their level of civilization and exposure”. What an insult!
He blackmails the Kalabari-Ijaw Chiefs: “Why didn’t these people accuse me of being sponsored when late Lulu-Briggs was celebrating his 86th birthday and I organized special Ankra prints (at my expense) which everyone, including these chiefs, had on their bodies?”.
He fantasizes: “I need to remind these seven chiefs that on September 7, 2018, I was a special guest of the Abonnema people with the entire traditional council headed by the highly revered Amayanabo of Kalabari-Ijaw kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Prof. T.J.T. Princewill Amachree and his chiefs”.
Does this Yoruba man know the honour done him by the Kalabari people who out of courtesy wore his Ankra prints? Has he ever seen Kalabari people arrayed in traditional attires? Has he ever seen Kalabari Chiefs in their world-acclaimed regalia?
This presumptuous man does not even know that Abonnema people with their traditional council are headed by the Amayanabo of Abonnema, not the Amayanabo of Kalabari who is the natural ruler of Kalabari.
He threatens that the Chiefs of Oruwari Briggs House would soon face the music in court for making reference to accusations of stealing and incest made against him by his king which in Chief Ogundokun’s own words were already “widely published”.
He asked: “where were all these Seven Chiefs when on November 25, 2017 there was an attempt to assassinate the Late High Chief Lulu-Briggs right in his very hometown, Abonnema?”
He applauds and goes into a lengthy panegyric of Mrs. Seinye Lulu-Briggs as a shameless busybody who pokes his noise into the privacy of a family hundreds of miles away from his Iwo land.
But why has Chief Abiola Ogundokun decided to embark on this apparent pecuniary journalistic mission, prying into the affairs of the Lulu-Briggs family, breaching the privacy of the family on paid advertorials on national newspapers?
Who needs the counsel of this man that talks gibberish about the chiefs of other lands? How can a Yoruba Chief, his Kalabari female sponsor and her little kids be the most suited persons to preserve the gargantuan legacy of High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs, whereas there is an already acclaimed prominent son like Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, a carbon copy of his father? Are Ogundokun sponsors merely mouthing the preservation of Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs’s legacy, while actually struggling only to acquire his estate?
The answers to these questions can be found in Chief Abiola Ogundokun’s protracted fight against his own King, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi as he comes across simply, as a trouble monger.