I express my deepest feelings of appreciation for the unwavering concern shown to my family by the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, during this period of my father’s demise and the ensuing crisis which is seemingly intractable and of course, quite unfortunate.
I have read the press release signed by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media and the Governor’s offer for a state burial for my father and the call on all kalabari leaders to join hands and give my father a befitting burial.
I am persuaded by this extension of goodwill to say a heartfelt thank you to the Governor because such demonstration of respect and honor to our dear father High Chief Dr. O.B. Lulu-Briggs, OON, DCF, DSSRS means a lot to me, the Lulu-Briggs family and the entire Oruwari Briggs House of Abonnema.
By the 27th of December 2019, it would be a year since my father and our Paramount head died and our desire is that the Chiefs of Oruwari House would go to Accra, Ghana and receive the mortal remains of their late Paramount head and bring him to a mortuary in Port Harcourt and plan his funeral. By the grace of God, we would give him a very befitting burial on January, 25th, 2020 after the Christmas festivities.
This is the position of the chiefs and members of family and we ask all well-meaning persons to prevail on Mrs. O.B. Lulu-Briggs to unconditionally release the mortal remains of our chief, father and husband to the Oruwari Briggs House of Abonnema through the head of the family, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs. When this happens, we shall inform the Rivers State Government, the Amanyanabo of Kalabari and all stakeholders accordingly.
It is the tradition all over, that the mortal remains of a man goes to the family through the family head which by the special grace of God happens to be my humble self. My father made me Chief in his lifetime; and he knew that at his passing, I will be the head of the house which is not in dispute.
So far, the problem is the refusal of Dr (Mrs) Seinye Lulu-Briggs to release the mortal remains of her late husband to the Oruwari Briggs War Canoe House through me, Chief Dumo O. B. Lulu-Briggs, the Chief Mourner. Instead, she has instituted court actions in Accra, Ghana that the mortal remains of our father should not be released to anybody except to her.
How do we plan a funeral when we don’t have custody of the body? So, if by the grace of God the body is released to us, we shall go in our numbers and in the dignity that our father deserves and bring him to Port Harcourt for a befitting burial. Seinye as the wife has all the liberty to play her role as prescribed by Kalabari custom and tradition.
Let me once again thank Governor Nyesom Wike for his intervention, holding three meetings with us, some of which lasted over 8 hours. We also use this opportunity to apologise to the governor on behalf of the Oruwari Briggs House of Abonnema for the insult that he got from the wife of our father during his mediation and thank him immensely for his efforts. We promise to work with the state Government every step of the way to ensure that our father and paramount head is given the honor he deserves. God help us.
Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs
Chief Mourner and Head of O. B. Lulu-Briggs family.