More suspensions in Chevron host communities’ leadership crisis in Bayelsa

Host communities to Chevron Nigeria Limited in Bayelsa State under the KEFFES Rural Development Foundation have suspended three chiefs for their alleged roles in the leadership crisis that rocked the foundation over a month ago.

The suspended chiefs, Manash Oluzulu, Dekumo Sunday-Regent and Wagibowei Ngozi Dowi are representatives of Foropa, Ekeni and Fish Town communities on the board of the foundation.

BusinessDay Sunday gathered that their suspension was due to their absence at a meeting of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the foundation to explain their alleged involvement in the lingering leadership crisis in the foundation.

They were accused of backing the decision of the Timiebi Woinemi Amadein group to misinterprete the order from a Bayey State High Court and also attempt to change leadership of the foundation through the back door.​

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BoT secretary, Israel Igbousa, presided over the meeting where the motion suspending the three chiefs was moved by Martins Saighe and it was resolved that the communities which the suspended chiefs represented should deliberate and forward names of their replacements.

Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, an ex-officio member, Christopher Tuduo, said: “Today’s meeting is a one-agenda meeting, but unfortunately, the three BoT members that were supposed to be here today to respond to questions that border on the role they played in the lingering crisis were unable to make it but were represented by some community chiefs.

“So, the general stakeholders, which is the general assembly of the council met and decided that the three BOT members are suspended from the board. It must be clear that their communities are not suspended but the individuals are suspended. We expect the communities concerned to write to the council on what they want do to with them and council will follow suit.”

Tuduo said the BOT also forgave those who apologised on grounds that they were misled saying, “For now, there are five members who are still suspended, namely, Tibiebi Amadein, the chairman of the parallel executive, Kofa Murphy Daniel, Christopher Longlife, Amina James and Ebitare Joseph.”

He disclosed that the council has nominated him to act on behalf of the BoT members as they are elderly and weak in going about RDF business and promised to take up the responsibility.

KEFFES Rural Development Foundation represents the eight Chevron Nigeria Limited host communities in Brass and Southern Ijaw local government areas comprising Koluama 1 & 2, Ezetu 1 & 2, Foropa, Fish Town, Ekeni and Sangana located along the Atlantic coastline in Bayelsa State.

The crisis in KEFFES RDF started when Tibiebi Woinemi Amadein filed a suit against the chairmanship position of Mathew Selepri at the state high court, which ordered that another election be conducted but a stay of execution motion was filed at the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

However, Amadein had declared himself chairman of the KRDF and allegedly wrote to Chevron Nigeria Limited claiming victory in a court matter and setting up a parallel executive of the foundation.

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