ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Some indigenes of Aghoro II community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State are at daggers drawn with Mr Fred Agbedi, the member, representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency in the National Assembly over the crisis tearing their community apart.
The kinsmen, led by a prominent community elder, Chief Pitiki Osagwu, indicted the federal lawmaker of allegedly masterminding the crisis rocking the community in which three persons were seriously injured.
They also lamented that the palace of their Paramount Ruler, King Afro Biukeme, and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed by security forces acting on Agbedi’s instructions.
The community leaders also said they had commenced moves to formally inform the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to facilitate the recall process of Agbedi from the National Assembly, describing him as a “bad and failed representative.”
During a peaceful protest within the community at the weekend, the people brandished placards with different inscriptions such as: ‘Fred Agbedi,You Are Bad Representative’, ‘Fred Agbedi, You Will Pay for Your Atrocities against Aghoro People,’ ‘Aghoro people are Peaceful’, ‘Our Kingship Matter Has Already Been Decided By Our Elders’, among others.
In an interview, the Amakosuwei (oldest man) in the community, Elder Pitiki Osagwu, said they had chosen Chief Afro Biukeme as their King and it was a unanimous decision among the elders of the community.
He said it was the exclusive rights of the elders and not the duty of the youths or Fred Agbedi to do so, adding that they voted for Agbedi to give them adequate representation and not to use his position to oppress them.
He disclosed that as far as they were concerned, the political career of Agbedi was dead and they were going to start the process of recalling him by formally writing to INEC.
He said even if Agbedi made any attempt to contest any election, they would never have anything to do with him.
But reacting to the allegation by his kinsmen, Fred Agbedi said he knew nothing about the crisis rocking the community.
He also denied allegations that he used soldiers to harass, intimidate and oppress community members, saying that he is not in control of the military and could not arrogate such powers he did not possess to himself.
On the threat of recall, he said if it was their choice to recall him, he had no problem with that, asking them to go ahead by writing to the INEC.
He stated: “I don’t know what they are doing. If their choice is to recall me, it is not a problem, they should write to the INEC.
“If they feel I am the one causing the crisis, sorry, I know nothing about it. So, if that is why they want to recall me rather than performance, it is not a problem. If they are the only people that voted for me and know that I am not performing, they can go ahead.
“I will like to tell you that that same community sometimes ago in one of their decisions, some people of the community like what they are doing today, even disowned me in newspaper publications that I am not an indigene of the community and that I am a prodigal son and all that. So, what is happening is not new to me. They know best what they are doing.
“As for harassing them with security forces, you know that I am not in control of soldiers. I don’t arrogate to myself powers that I don’t possess.”