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Trade union leader elected monarch of Bayelsa community

some people had predicted that the polls would be marred by violence,

The National President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Josiah Biobelemoye has emerged as the new Amayanabo (king) of Opu-Nembe Bassambiri kingdom of Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State nine years after the throne became vacant.

The labour leader, who was among six candidates that contested for the  position polled 64 votes out of a total 70 votes cast to defeat a former Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Victor Ombu(rtd), who managed a distant five votes.

Other contenders for the coveted throne included former Bayelsa State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Darius Obiene-Dede, who had no vote cast in his favour and former INEC National Commissioner, Baratuapre Edoghutu, respectively who got one vote at the polls.

Announcing the result, Chairman of the electoral committee and Paramount Ruler of Oluasiri community, His Royal Highness Chiefson Awululu declared Mr Josiah Biobelemoye winner and returned him as the Amayanabo-elect in the presence of chiefs and elders of the community.

Niger Delta Trust gathered that the last monarch, who occupied the Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri) throne, late king Ralph Iwowari died nine years ago.

The Amayanabo-elect was not yet allowed to speak with the newsmen according to the tradition of Opu Nembe kingdom, but the former chairman of the community’s council of chiefs and one time regent, Chief Bomonyo Amakiri, Chief Kienghosuote Monday-Degi and former Nembe council area chairman as well as one-time Bayelsa State Commissioner, Chief Walter Benwari described the exercise as peaceful and transparent.

According to them, some people had predicted that the polls would be marred by violence, but God gave the electoral committee and the entire council of chiefs the wisdom to conduct a free, fair and credible election to produce a new acceptable monarch for the kingdom, explaining that the monarch will become the eighth king from the Ogbodo Dynasty of Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri) kingdom.

Niger Delta Trust reports that  Opu-Nembe (Bassambiri) kingdom has two major dynasties – the Ogbodo and Mein.

The new Amayanabo, King Josiah Biobelemoye was later chalked at King Igbodo 1 Mausoleum hall in the community according to the norms and tradition of Nembe people.