By Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
Indigenes and residents, under the auspices of Concerned People of Twon Brass (CPTB), in Twon-Brass Kingdom of Bayelsa State have debunked the allegation by the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, that the recent protest in the community against the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) was sponsored.
Diete-Spiff had, in a recent interview, narrated how thugs were instigated by some unnamed politicians and sub-contractors to attack him and vandalise his property.
The group, in a communiqué, condemned the attack on King Diete-Spiff and the destruction of his palace and vehicle, but declared that it did not subscribe to the allegations that the protest was sponsored.
In the communiqué signed by Comrade Fred Charles and Fieye Sam-Ateki, the group pointed out that Twon-Brass is the host community of Brass Agip Terminal, but the community has nothing to show for it because Agip has not lived up to expectation.
It explained that the protest recorded a high turnout and support of the people because the people of Twon-Brass were frustrated over the continued maltreatment from Agip and the lackadaisical attitude of the community leadership to address their plight.
The group described as misleading and baseless the allegations made by King Diete-Spiff, the first Military Governor of old Rivers State, stressing that his interview was meant to weaken the resolve of the people.
The communiqué read in part: “The allegations are baseless, misleading and intended to divert the attention of the public. No politician or sub-contractor sponsored the recent protest in Twon-Brass. The people have long been frustrated and were pushed to the wall by NAOC’s recent insensitivity to their plight, especially the over two-month blackout and non-payment of contract workers from the community after several pleas.
“We conclude that the intention of the purported recent interview by HRM (King) Alfred Diete-Spiff is calculated to weaken the morale and resolve of the people of the kingdom to demand a better deal.
“Also, that the interview is designed to thwart and kill the growing public sympathy towards the protesters and community by extension. Hence, we implore the general public to be mindful of these antics and disregard the allegations purportedly made by King Alfred Diete-Spiff.
“It is regrettable that some people from the community are feeding fat from NAOC at the expense of the collective development and prosperity of the kingdom and they are ready to do anything to divide, destabilise and weaken the people in order to maintain the status quo, while holding brief for NAOC for its failures. Then one begins to wonder who is actually being sponsored.”