BY EMEM IDIO
OLUASIRI—59-YEAR-OLD paramount ruler of Oluasiri community, Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, King Iyerite Chiefson Awululu, narrowly escaped death when armed men invaded his residence, cut him mercilessly with machete and left him for dead in a pool of his blood. The sacrilegious incident occurred at the abode of the monarch in Otiotio area of Yenagoa Local Government Area, penultimate Sunday.
King Awululu, who survived to tell the story, told Niger Delta Voice, on his hospital bed that men of the State Investigation Bureau, SIB, Bayelsa State Police Command, have arrested the key suspect, a politician.
He said the attack was part of the ongoing attempt to dethrone him over his refusal to extend the tenure of members of the Oluasiri Development Union, ODU and Oluasiri Youth Forum, OYF and receiving the then governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Timipre Sylva, who visited him during the last governorship elections.
King Awululu said the Police treated his earlier petitions to the State Command and Zone 5 Command of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, on alleged conspiracy to remove him with violence and disrupt the peace in Oluasiri clan with reckless abandon.
He said: “I want to attribute my survival to the divine grace of God. It started in November 2015 with the prime suspect and 145 others sending me a letter stating that I should resign with threats to use legal means and all other means possible.
“But I knew that the only authorities that can remove me are the kingmakers, the state governor and a competent court of law. It is a gazetted stool and I was constitutionally enthroned with presentation of staff of office and coroneted.
“Oluasiri is not given to one community, but made up of cluster communities headed by small kings. “On July 4, one John called me to mock that I was still on the throne? I immediately called the prime suspect to report the threat call. In his reply, he confirmed that there is already an active plot to remove me.
“On the 18th of July at about 9.30 pm, I came outside my sit-out and saw the prime suspect discussing with three men. At about 2.30 am, my wife alerted me that three men have gained entrance into our home. All emergency calls were not answered, I called my nephew and he answered.”
Continuing he said: “At this point, I was hearing the armed men breaking doors . I was inside the master bedroom with my wife. They broke down the door to the room and the one to the toilet, where we were hiding. “They dragged me out and dealt me several machete blows. They left me for dead in the pool of my blood. They did not ask any valuable or for money. All they wanted was my life but God, the owner of life said no.”
King Awululu maintained that his attack has political undertone, saying: “I believe it is also politically-motivated because many of those involved in the plot against me belong to a formidable political camp. “Before I became the king in 2009, the issue of tenure elongation had caused a spate of killings as well as arson, but I brought reforms. They threatened to deal with me through government.”