Why invite the Etsu Nupe to preside over a Niger Delta security summit attended by First Class monarchs from the South South?
That is a poser to which some elders and community leaders from the oil-bearing region are seeking answers to from the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The summit, reportedly organised by the office of the Inspector General, was organised in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, penultimate week.
The Niger Delta elders described the treatment of their monarchs as “disrespectful” and “insulting,” as the Nupe monarch was made to preside when First Class rulers from Rivers and Bayelsa states were in attendance.
The Niger Delta elders, under the aegis of the Rural Chiefs and Development Initiatives (RUCPDI), said though the security summit was a good initiative, they were shocked by the treatment of royal fathers from the affected region.
A statement issued on Wednesday by the group’s National Coordinator, Alabo Nengi James-Eriworio, decried the poor organisation of the summit.
It said that the conduct showed that the summit 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 James-Eriworio, who is also the Bayelsa State chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), said the attitude of the organisers towards traditional rulers, was wicked and uncultured.
Traditional rulers at the summit included the Bayelsa and Rivers states chairmen of Traditional Rulers Councils, King Alfred Diette-Spiff and King Dandison Jaja, the former Minister of Power and Nembe Monarch, King Edmund Daukoru.
James-Eriworio stated: “We were shocked that a zonal summit meant for the people of the South South was turned into a jamboree with the Etsu Nupe invited to preside over the conference attended by South-South Governors and first class monarch from the Niger Delta.”
He continued: “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 statement added: “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.”