…As Dumo yet to unfold the burial plan
By Kelechi Esogwa-Amadi
There is increasing uncertainty in the O.B. Lulu-Briggs family following the repatriation of the corpse of their patriarch, High Chief Dr Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs recently by one of his older sons, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs.
TPCN learnt that the inability of Chief Dumo to announce a date or plan for the burial as well as failure to meet with all the family members on how to proceed with the burial of the late sage is heightening the tension in the family, with some nursing fears that he might be pursuing an ill-motivated secret agenda.
A source close to the family told TPCN in confidence today that since bringing the corpse of High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs from Accra, Ghana, a few days ago, Chief Dumo has kept his stepmother, Dr Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs and her children in suspense with regard to his plans about the burial.
The source expressed fear over Chief Dumo’s readiness to bury his father, citing the latter’s earlier demand for a second autopsy to ascertain the cause of the High Chief’s death and his non-cooperation with the mediation committee set up by the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Barr Disrael Gbobo Bob-Manuel, to resolve the crisis and get High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs’ remains buried.
The Amanyanabo of Abonnema had set up a committee early this year to mediate in the crisis rocking the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Family with a view to resolving it and facilitating the burial of the late oil mogul who died since December 27, 2019.
The committee was made up of notable sons of Kalabari Land, including Justice Karibi-Whyte (Rtd), Prof. Nimi Briggs, Bishop Ombo Isokariari, Chief Feddy Anabraba, Chief Prof. Ibiba Jack and the chairmen of the three Kalabari LGAs of Asari Toru, Akuku Toru and Degema, among other members.
However, Chief Dumo, TPCN gathered, attended the meeting once and shunned about three subsequent ones held by the committee with the O.B. Lulu-Briggs family.
His stepmother, Dr Mrs Seinye, on the other hand, attended all the meetings to which the committee invited her and promised to cooperate with it to ensure that her husband gets a befitting burial as soon as possible.
According to sources, Chief Dumo’s attitude of non-attendance to the meetings frustrated the work of the committee and to a large extent and discouraged most of the members who felt let-down.
Many Kalabari chiefs, it was further gathered, saw Dumo’s action as an insult to the Kalabari traditional institution which they felt was represented by the committee and the Amanyanabo of Abonnema that set it up represented.
They also felt it was an insult to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike who pleaded with the Abonnema King to intervene in the O.B. Lulu-Briggs family crisis.
Asked if the Amanyanabo of Abonnema was angry with Chief Dumo for frustrating the committee’s work, one of the sources said: “Well, I can’t say if the Amanyanabo is angry with Dumo or not because I am not in his heart to know how he’s feeling about it. But as a human being, there’s no way he will be happy about Dumo’s attitude. He has tried as a man and as a king to resolve the matter and see to it that High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs is buried but since the man’s older sons, led by Dumo, are not cooperating, he will not kill himself. The world will bear him witness that he has tried.”
On what he thinks Dumo will do now that he has custody of his father’s corpse, the source said: “We’re still watching. All along, he has accused his stepmother of delaying the burial by holding the body. Now that he has the body, I expect him to commence with burial plans as soon as possible if he’s sincere about burying his father. But if he doesn’t do that, then he will have a lot of questions to answer because the world is watching.”
Yesterday, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, through his spokesman, Sotonye Ijuye Dagogo, stated that now that he has custody of his father’s corpse, he would confer with the chiefs of Oruwari Briggs’ House on how to commence his father’s burial.