Elders and community leaders from the nine states of the Niger Delta have described as “disrespectful” and “insulting” the alleged shabby treatment handed traditional rulers from the region during the last security summit held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
The elders and traditional title holders, under the aegis of the Rural Chiefs and Development Initiatives (RUCDI), said though the security summit organised by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, was a good initiative, the traditional rulers and Niger Delta stakeholders were shocked at the show of disrespect towards traditional institutions and refusal to allow contributions from Niger Delta indigenes.
The chiefs in a statement issued in Yenagoa by the National Coordinator, Alabo Nengi James-Eriworio, stated that the poor organisation of the summit showed that it was a mere jamboree by the police boss to castigate Niger Delta chiefs and traditional rulers.
“The organisation of the summit was poor and it was turned to praise singing by suspected hired hands. The Niger Delta stakeholders were not recognised to make contributions and the traditional rulers technically disallowed from asking questions.”
Chief Nengi James-Eriworio, who is also the Bayelsa chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), said the attitude of the organisers towards traditional rulers including the Bayelsa and Rivers state chairmen of Traditional Rulers Councils, King Afred Ditte-Spiff and King Dandison Jaja, the former minister of power and Nembe monarch, King Edmund Daukoru is wicked and uncultured.
According to him: “We were shocked that a zonal summit meant for the people of the South South was turned into a jamboree with the Emir of Nupe invited to preside over the conference attended by south-south governors and first class monarchs from the Niger Delta.
“We have seen conferences organised in the South West, South East and North region with host traditional rulers presiding at the event. Though the Emir of Nupe accorded his fellow traditional rulers royal pleasantries, the police boss refused to see the error in his decision not to recognise monarchs from the Niger Delta region.
“The Niger Delta people are demanding an unreserved apology from the police boss over the shabby treatment handed towards the traditional rulers from the region. The police boss was also blind to the fact that most of the traditional rulers left in anger.”