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Published On: Wed, Feb 15th, 2017

N’Delta Activist, Sunny Ofehe Set To Bury His Mother, 10 Years After Her Assassination

OFEHE MOTHER
LAGOS FEBRUARY 15TH (URHOBOTODAY)- Netherlands-based Nigerian Niger Delta and Environmental Right Activist, Comrade Sunny Ofehe has scheduled to mark the final burial rite ceremony of his mother, Madam Theresa Noghanyin ten years after she was assassinated in Benin-City, Edo State capital by suspected gunmen who reportedly trailed her to her residence in Benin where she was killed.
Although Ofehe mother’s who was killed at the peak of the Niger Delta crisis had since been interred, the ceremonial funeral rite was postponed thrice following unforeseen circumstances.
When he was preparing to return to Nigeria for the burial in 2011, precisely four days for him to make the trip back home, the Dutch police swooped on him owing to trumped up charges of ‘terrorism’.
They misunderstood him and because of that for 18 months, he was placed under police investigation and surveillance, during which his telephone conversations were regularly tapped.
On several occasions, undercover police officers broke into his car and wired it with listening and tracking device. They placed a vehicle with surveillance camera in front of his office for five weeks.
Over 25 police officers were mobilised for the investigation, resulting in a 7,500-page dossier on him. While they built 7, 500 case files on him, the investigative process alone took 2,500 pages, during which they labelled him a ‘terrorist’.
He was accused of ‘conspiring’ with ‘militants’ to blow up an oil pipeline belonging to Shell in Ekpoma, Edo State.
Giving a graphic details why his mother final burial had been stalled till now, he said the May 4, 2014, abduction incident where himself and four other Dutch nationals was kidnapped by militants in the Dodo River in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa state seriously traumatized him and had prevented him from going ahead with the burial plans.
This writer was in the ill-fated trip which only reechoed the nightmare in the delta and tales of militancy in the region.The trip was designed to chant the way forward for international support for several communities in Dodo River federated communities.
According to the foremost activist, he was actually making preparation for his mother’s burial that year when the ugly incident shattered the whole plans.
Giving a background of how his mother was assassinated in a tribute message released to journalists on Tuesday, Ofehe said his mother who was born on 1947 was assassinated on 4th October 2007 in Benin City, Edo State by unknown assailants in their family home in Benin City, Edo State.
In the tribute, he said the lifeless body of his mother was discovered in one of the rooms in their Benin home few hours later after the assailants had fled.
“The funeral is now schedule to take place at the family compound in Benin City, Edo State on Saturday 25th February 2017 after almost ten years, he said.
Giving a chronological details of his mother, he said; “She was married to Chief Bernard Ofehe and had two children, myself and my younger sister Mrs. Kate Ofehe-Kragh”.
“My mother was a Bini native from Edo State who was married to my father from Isoko, Delta State and we grew up in Ughelli, Delta State”.
He paid glowing tributes to his mother with a popular Nigerian song dedicated to motherhood.
“I am inspired to write this tribute with the classical old song of Prince Nico Mbarga “sweet mother I no go forget you”.
“I thank God for all that my mother has taught me through the years and have always been very proud to be her son”.
Continuing, he said, “considering the circumstances that lead to her death, I am obliged to share a few things I learned from my mother that have influenced me greatly”.
“I believe that as you read my tribute, you will be able to reflect and remember things that your own mother impacted in you”.
“I also pray that all parents can learn from my mother’s example and make an impact on their children’s lives

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