Groups seek Wike’s intervention in Lulu-Briggs’ burial
The Civil Society Coalition for Peace and Justice (CSPJ) in conjunction with the Kalabari Heritage Forum (KHF) yesterday asked Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike to intervene and resolve the issues delaying the burial of late Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs.
They urged Wike, who has visited the family house of late Chief Lulu-Briggs recently to wade into the crisis with a view to bringing it to an end, adding that the warring parties behind the delay should sheath their swords and allow peace to reign.
The late Lulu-Briggs, who hailed from Abonnema, died at the Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana aboard a private aircraft on December 28, 2018, but is yet to be buried due to family disagreements over the circumstances surrounding his death.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday, convener of CSCPJ, Obor John Ogbu and President of KHF, Ebitemi Atarhe, noted that it was in the best interest of the Kalabari people and Nigerians who are beneficiaries of the late Lulu-Briggs’ legacies.
The groups decried the hostile attitude of a member of the deceased family, which has embittered and frustrated many Kalabari indigenes.
They said it was disheartening that one of the three eldest sons, who was supposed to lead the other family members by example, was on the verge of denigrating Lulu-Briggs’ legacies.
“He was quick to apply vide ex-parte motion for a Judicial Inquiry into the death of his 88-year-old father before Kaneshie District Court 2 in Accra, Ghana, whereupon his application was granted and an order made accordingly.
“In ordering for an inquest, the court said events following the philanthropist’s death gave it reasonable cause to believe that he did not die of natural causes and ordered the police to produce all processes and documents in their custody, including an autopsy report,” the groups stated.
While calling for peace and the need for a proper burial for the late philanthropist, the groups urged the entire family members to shield their swords and stop the unnecessary battle for the sake of the deceased.
“We appeal to the other children of Chief Lulu-Briggs and chiefs of Oruwari Briggs House of Abonnema to fix a date for the interment of their patriarch. The spirit of Chief Lulu-Briggs should not be allowed to hover around the surface of the earth endlessly.
“He should be laid to rest before December 28, 2019 so that he does not remain in the mortuary for over one year.
“We call on our sister organisations and all lovers of worthy causes to troop out in large number on Monday, December 9, 2019 as we take our protest to Port Harcourt with the aim of compelling Dumo and all the relevant stakeholders to bury Chief Lulu-Briggs and allow peace reign in Kalabari Kingdom,” they added.