The Bayelsa State government has suspended the King (Ibedaowei) of the Opokuma Clan in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, His Royal Majesty, Boutua Collins Aranka, for openly endorsing the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Timipre Sylva.
The decision was announced by the state’s deputy governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, citing a reported case of falsehood and misrepresentation of the chieftaincy laws of the state. This move stems from a viral video where the embattled monarch claimed that Bayelsa State Government provided a meager monthly allowance of N28,000 to traditional rulers, a statement that triggered controversy.
To address the situation, a Seven-Man Committee has been formed to investigate the allegations against King Aranka. The committee, chaired by Chief Thompson Amule, the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs, Local Government Administration, and Community Development, will delve into the matter thoroughly.
Responding to the issue, Chief Thompson Amule clarified the payment structure, stating that Bayelsa State Government allocates N650,000 monthly to First Class Kings, N120,000 to Second Class Kings, N80,000 to Third Class Kings, and N30,000 to Fourth Class Kings.
He emphasized the government’s commitment to respecting the traditional institution while debunking the misinformation circulated by King Aranka.
In a twist, King Aranka has contested the authenticity of the controversial video, asserting that it was manipulated by the media team of the APC with the intention of creating discord between him and the governor, who happens to be his kinsman.
He vehemently denied speaking against himself or his son, the governor, and stated his intention to address the situation through legal means. The unfolding events have stirred a heated debate, raising questions about the intersection of politics, traditional institutions, and public perception in the state.
IMAGE: The Sun