By Azu Akanwa
The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) has been advised not to allow itself to be used by businessmen in the region who are bent on hijacking their respective communities to feather their business nests.
In a statement signed by the President of Egrangbene Patriotic Forum, Mr. Biukeme Benibo, the group alleged that a businessman in the community has been spreading rumour in Egrangbene that the community leadership and the entire community will be sacked by JTF for refusing to recognise his sponsored and self-imposed king.
It would be recalled that one Mr. Henry Okirikpa had sponsored an advert in the media declaring himself the king (Pere) of the community, a development which the group had described as illegal warning him and his sponsors to desist from causing trouble in the peaceful community.
Speaking to Vanguard, the groupâ€™s president said Mr. Henry Okirikpa was being sponsored by the businessman against the wish of the people who already have a king (Pere) they love, Egran I.
â€œWe discovered that there is tension in Egrangbene because the said businessman asked his stooges to deceive the people that as an oil businessman, he has bought over JTF leadership to do his wishes.
â€œWe have told the entire community to remain calm and go about their normal life because we know that JTF members will never toy with their integrity because of money being sprayed by one greedy businessman.
We know that JTF cannot afford to soil its name because of the ambition of one man against the wishes of the larger Egrangbene community.”
â€œThe same businessman paraded an old man of over 70 years as Pere of Egrangbene last year at Asaba.
He is now parading Henry Okirikpa as Pere of Egrangbene again, having realised that his first choice, being an old man will not effectively push his business agenda in Agip Oil company and other areas of interest.
â€œThe entire community is saying that the illegal, self-imposedÂ king and the few disgruntled elements on the payroll of the overzealous businessman should not come to the community to cause violence with hired terror groups from other communities.
We call on the police and JTF to help us stop them from operating terror camps along Egrangbene waterways under the cover of self-help camps in the creeks,â€ the group said.