Governor sacks traditional ruler, his offense is a warning to other monarchs in Niger Delta

The government of Bayelsa State has approved the immediate suspension of the King (Ibedaowei) of the Opokuma Clan in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the State, His Royal Majesty, Boutua Collins Aranka, for openly endorsing the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Timipre Sylva.

The deputy governor of the state, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Doubara Atasi, said that the suspension was due to a reported case of falsehood and misrepresentation of the chieftaincy laws of the state.

Consequently, a Seven-Man Committee has been constituted to investigate the allegations brought against him, with the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs, Local Government Administration and Community Development, Chief Thompson Amule, as Chairman.

It was learnt that the trouble began when the embattled monarch, in a video that went viral on social media, claimed that the Bayelsa State Government pays a paltry N28,000 to traditional rulers as a monthly allowance when the APC candidate, Chief Sylva, visited him at his palace in Opokuma town.

Also reacting to the issue, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Thompson Amule, said that while the government will continue to respect the exalted stool of the embattled monarch, the claims by the monarch were incorrect and false in every material sense.

Parts of the statement read, “While the APC members are feasting on the misinformation, it is proper to lay bare the facts. The Bayelsa State Government pays First Class Kings in the status of King Aranka the sum of N650,000 monthly

“Second Class Kings receive N120,000, Third Class Kings get N80,000, while Fourth Class Kings are paid the sum of N30,000 monthly. Having made this clarification, the government would not join issues any further with the traditional institution over the unfortunate comments by HRM King Collins Aranka of Opokuma Kingdom.”

Meanwhile, the embattled monarch, King Aranka, in a video released today, has said that the video where he was seen making the comments that is brewing crisis was doctored by the media team of the APC with the aim of creating disaffection between him and the governor who happens to be his kinsman.

He said “when he came, I received as usual but they went back and fabricated that video to turn the governor, my own son, against me. Why would I speak against myself? Why would I speak against my own son? They will hear from my lawyers. The APC members are liers trying to gain cheap attention.”