Youths of the Oruwari Briggs House of Abonnema Community in Rivers State, comprising the 7 family compounds over which High Chief Dr. O. B. Lulu-Briggs, OON, DCF, DSSRS, presided as paramount ruler, have called for his immediate burial, without further delay.
The youths, who met on Friday December 6, 2019, along with women of Oruwari Briggs compounds at the Young Briggs Memorial Hall said it was unacceptable that their respectable and distinguished paramount head had not yet been buried since he passed on to glory on December 27, 2018, almost a year ago.
The youths called on the immediate family of High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs to bury their patriarch irrespective of the on-going differences within, especially since no lawsuit prohibits the High Chief’s burial.
They threatened to sanction the family should it not call for his burial soon.
According to a one of the youth leaders, Hosine Ende Briggs in statement made available to the media, “The great Chief died on the 27th of December 2018 and still has not been buried till date, almost a year because of family issues by the children and his own wife. The youths have also made it plain and open to the family that if the well-respected High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs’ burial arrangements are not made as soon as possible…the Youths have also agreed to go on a protest against the delay in announcing the burial arrangements of their own father High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs.”
It’s been gathered that in response to this development, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs has called for a meeting with the same youths on Sunday December 8, 2019.
A youth who pleaded anonymity said the planned visit by Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs is said to be for the purpose of embarking on empowerment for the youths of Oruwari Briggs House of Abonnema.
“Why is Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs interested in supporting the youths now when he didn’t deem it necessary when he was vying for the office of Governor of Rivers State earlier this year to do so?”
He wondered while concluding that the real reason Chief Dumo was ‘rushing’ to Abonemma was to shut down the initiative the youths have taken to call the High Chief’s feuding family to order to ensure that the greatly admired High Chief was laid to rest. He said the youths were not ready to be ‘bribed.’
High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs has not been buried because his 3 eldest sons, Senibo, Dumo and Sofiri Lulu-Briggs, supported by some of the family chiefs have refused to set his burial date until they are able to arm-twist their stepmother to set aside their father’s Last Will and Testament.
According to details of the High Chief’s Will, he did not provide for them in his bequests because he considers the settlement sums he paid to them in 2003 and 2004 as their inheritance.
Between 2002 and 2004, the three brothers made serious criminal allegations against their father and embroiled him in several lawsuits in Nigeria, the UK, and the US, seeking to wrest control of Moni Pulo Limited, an oil company he founded from him.
Although judges ruled against them, family sources say the High Chief was thoroughly embarrassed at the public spectacle of fighting legal battles with his children. He therefore sought to bring these to an end.
Hence, through two settlements, the three brothers were paid off with the understanding that they (and any parties related to them) would not ever interfere in the operations of Moni Pulo Limited in perpetuity.
“The Abonnema community and Oruwari Briggs House compounds are all aware of the tense relationship that existed between the sons and their revered father,” said a close family relative.
Meanwhile there were mixed reactions as news filtered into Abonnema early Saturday that Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs has scheduled a visit to the community for Sunday in response to the Friday meeting and subsequent threats by the youths of Oruwari Briggs House over the undue delay in the burial of their beloved demised paramount head. It is not yet known, if indeed, the meeting would hold as being rumoured.