Chiefs of Oruwari-Briggs House briefing newsmen on Lulu-Briggs at Abonema town in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rivers State.
From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
A prominent Niger Delta business mogul and Founder of Moni Pulo Limited, High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs who died about two years ago, will now be laid to rest on March 13, this year as announced by the Chiefs of Oruwari-Briggs House of Abonema kingdom in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rivers State.
This as the state Governor, Barr Nyesom Wike has declared a state burial for the deceased.
It would be recalled that High Chief Lulu-Briggs died on December 27, 2018 at the age of 88.
The burial of the philanthropist have suffered set back following disagreement between the wife of the deceased, Mrs Seinye O. B Lulu-Briggs and his children which also attracted series of legal suits.
Briefing newsmen at the weekend, on the development, the Acting Head of Oruwari-Briggs House of Abonema, High Chief A. B. Ajumogobia, noted the cause of set back on the burial date.
Ajumogobia who is a retired Navy Captain, stated that “The major reason we could not plan the burial ceremony was because of more that fifteen months we could not take custody of the mortal remains of High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs because of the series of court cases that denied the family from taking custody of the body. The controversies that surrounded the demise of our Paramount Head were widely reported in the mass media.
“Even when on December 23, 2019, a High Court in Ghana ruled that the body be released to the family led by Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the matter was appealed up to the Supreme Court before the body was finally brought back to Nigeria on March 16, 2020 into the waiting arms of the prevailing Covid-19 restrictions”.
According to the Acting Paramount head, activities towards the burial date begins on March 8, with Drama and Tributes at the University of Port Harcourt, Choba.
“It is our pleasure at this point to break the news that the late High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs, the Iniikeiroari V of Kalabari Kingdom and Paramount Head of Oruwari Briggs House of Abonema will be committed to mother Earth on Saturday, March 13, 2021”.
The chiefs also appreciated Governor Nyesom Wike for approving a state burial for the late patriarch.
Meanwhile, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, son of the deceased has also lauded Governor Wike for his untiring efforts to broker peace within the Lulu-Briggs family during the past two years of his demise.
Dumo expressed gladness that at last his father would be buried after years of disagreement.
He said ‘I am indeed very excited that at long last my father will be laid to rest.
“On March 13 by the grace of God Nigeria and indeed the world will be here in Abonema. That is the pleasure of the mind, friends and associated will travel from near and far to come and pay their last respect.
“He was a man of very good worthy beginnings. He is a household name because of how he impacted in peoples lives. He built a home for the elderly, hostels for students, medical laboratories for learning, medical bills, enhancements etc. I am very happy that such a great man relate to me.
“I am particularly happy that all the chiefs of Oruwari-Briggs House have always shown their live for him. He was committed to growth and development of Nigeria, Rivers State, Kalabari and Abonema.
“I want all of us here to thank very specially, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wine. Not only did he spent countless time with us trying to resolve the issues, but he has promised a befitting state burial for our dearly departed father. We can’t thank him enough but from the depth of our heart on behalf of Oruwari-Briggs Chiefs and the House of all the chiefs of the Ijaw land, I want us to the Governor for insisting that he will honour our own”, he added.