- Governor Diri dethrones paramount ruler, sacks community and youth leaders
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has announced the dethronement of the Paramount Ruler of Otuokpoti community, in Ogbia Local Government Area, Chief A. C. T. Wongo, over the kidnap of Mr Federal Otokito.
Otokito, the State Commissioner for Industry,Trade and Investment, was freed on Monday, January 24, five days after he was kidnapped from his Otuokpoti community residence in Ogbia.
The abductors had demanded the release of the father of their leader, who is in police custody as condition to free Otokito.
They were said to have contacted the paramount ruler of Otuokpoti to demand the swap of the father of their leader with the commissioner.
The Bayelsa Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ben Nebolisa Okolo, and the State Director of the State Security Services, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, presented Mr. Otokito to Governor Douye Diri on Monday evening at Government House, Yenagoa.
Addressing Government House correspondent after his release, Governor Diri announced the deposition of the Otuokpoti community paramount ruler, Chief A.C.T Wongo and appointed Chief Rescue Abe in acting capacity.
The governor also announced the sacking of the community's development committee chairman, Azibalua Amon and replaced him with Jerry Offor in acting capacity while the youth president, Emolem Igue was also removed and replaced with Shedrach Afiemo.
Investigation alleged that they were complicit in the kidnap of the commissioner.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah quoted the governor as reiterating the state government's zero tolerance to crime and kidnapping.
Governor Diri warned all those who see kidnapping as a business to desist as his government will not hesitate to invoke the extant laws and make the state uncomfortable for criminal elements.
Governor Diri, who said preliminary investigation revealed that illegal refining of crude was connected to the kidnap, warned all those involved in such business in the state to stop forthwith.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ben Nebolisa, declared Joshua Abi, Clergy Mabinton, Gift Tebeda and Azin Azin wanted in connection with the kidnap.
In his remarks, the rescued commissioner, Mr. Federal Otokito, thanked Governor Diri, his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, and all those who worked for his release.