By Charles Kumolu & Kelechukwu Iruoma
RIGHTS activist, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has raised the alarm that some persons have concluded plans to attack her over the freezing of Itsekiri Regional Development Council, IRDC, accounts, saying should anything happen to her, those who want the accounts unfrozen should be held responsible.
She also called on Delta State governor, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa and the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, to take note of the development, adding that she was being targeted as a result of her crusade for accountability in the management of community development funds.
Briefing newsmen yesterday in Lagos, she said: “There is a plan to attack me because of my stand on IRDC funds. Those who have joined in the fight against the mismanagement of Itsekiri funds are also being targeted. I got privileged information that people are being mobilised for the mission. I want the world to know about this sinister plan.
I have been serving Itsekiri for 30 years and I have given all I have to the Itsekiri nation. I have never asked for anything from Itsekiri people. I just want the best for my people.
“Those embezzling our funds want to carry on with their terrible activities. I have served my people well. It is sad to see the wealth of my people being plundered by a few individuals. It is sad that the place I grew up is now a forest because funds meant for development are being embezzled.
“I learned that a few people have mobilised youths to attack me because of the court order on the accounts being used to siphon our money. There are people, who believe that Itsekiri development funds belong to them and think they can do anything to ensure that they continue to get free money.
“I want to use this medium to inform the governor of Delta State, Sen Okowa that I have been targeted for attack. I will also write a petition to the Inspector General of Police to inform him about the plot against me. Should anything happen to me or anyone associated with this fight for accountability, those people who want the accounts unfrozen should be held responsible.
“I am very passionate about my Itsekiri nation and can’t support anything that will bring misery to our people. My people are treated as slaves and refugees. Seeing people suffer is something that breaks my heart. ‘’
Lori-Ogbebor had instituted a suit before a Delta State High Court, Warri, against some Itsekiri leaders and Chevron over alleged diversion of funds donated by Chevron and other donors for the development of Itsekiri communities.
Also, an Abuja High Court directed the Nigeria Police Force to freeze seven accounts operated by IRDC which contained N2.1 billion.
The accounts were frozen after which a Delta State High Court sitting in Warri granted a similar order.