By Sotonye Ijuaye Dagogo
“I was taken aback by the statement attributed to His Excellency, in the same press release, that I insulted him in the course of his gracious interventions. To the best of my knowledge the last meeting with the Governor along with my son Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs on the 20th of September 2019 ended without rancour and with a resolution for each party to send settlement proposals to the Governor through the Attorney General of Rivers State, which was complied with.’ -Seinye Lulu-Briggs.
Very funny that Seinye Lulu-Briggs will feign surprise and shock at something she did knowingly. Perhaps it is because the Governor has now made it open and public to show the real masquerade behind the delay of the burial of the Late High Chief O B Lulu-Briggs and the need for her to continue to cling onto her false morality and piety that she has been forced to come out and feign shock and surprise. Nonetheless, the masquerade has been unmasked and just as expected, truth is being revealed.
In her response sent via her spokesperson Oraye St. Franklyn, Seinye Lulu-Briggs forgot intentionally to state the whereabouts of the mortal remains of the late High Chief and when she would be releasing the remains to the Oruwari Briggs family through the Chief mourner, Chief Dumo O.B.Lulu-Briggs as tradition demands so they can go ahead and plan the burial of the late sage.
Seinye Lulu-Briggs must understand that there can be no planning of the burial by a family who doesn’t have custody of the corpse after sighting it. That is in line with the African tradition and in line with the customs and traditions of the Kalabari land where she is also a part and parcel of. She cannot feign ignorance of this at least. But that is if she intends to be truthful and respectful to the laws of the land, customarily and otherwise.
In her first letter which Seinye Lulu-Briggs claims she did not insult his excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike, it is important to remind her that she titled the letter “WITHOUT PREJUDICE”. Seinye Lulu-Briggs claimed that ¹the Governor threatened her with revocation of Certificate of Occupancy to estates belonging to the late High Chief and this is a blatant lie.
“I publicly acknowledge with the deepest gratitude efforts made by Governor Wike and our Royal Father, His Serene Majesty Professor T.J.T Princewill, Amachree XI, the Amayanabo of Kalabari Kingdom as well as other respected friends of the late High Chief to resolve the needless differences within our family.”- Seinye Lulu-Briggs
After the public acknowledgement, what is the right thing for Seinye to do? Release the mortal remains of her late husband to the family through the Chief Mourner, Chief Dumo O.B.Lulu-Briggs as advised by His Serene Majesty, Professor TJT Princewill if indeed she is contrite and prepared to lay his memory to peaceful rest? Why is she not including her inclination to acquiesce to that simple request by the Oruwari Briggs Family for months in her response to the public reply she has suddenly deemed fit to send to the executive governor of the state? Why is she still holding on to the mortal remains if indeed she agrees to toe the path to a peaceful resolution? What is Seinye Lulu-Briggs hiding that has made her act in such a manner as to holding the mortal remains of a man who loved and cared for her and made her who she is today to ransom?
These and many more are questions which have been begging for answers but till date, Seinye has been unable to provide these answers.
In all of this, what has been the position of the second son of the late High Chief, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs? His position has remained the same from day 1, “Give me the remains of my late father, so we can plan for his burial according to the customs of the Kalabari people”.
The question remains; Will Seinye Lulu-Briggs heed to wise counsel and surrender the mortal remains of the late High Chief to the family for appropriate actions to kick-start in earnest the burial of the late Polodabo High Chief O B Lulu-Briggs? That remains to be seen or heard as we all await.
Sotonye Ijuaye Dagogo writes from Rivers State