Baribefe Victor Bornu
Youths in Bodo community in Gokana Local Government area of Ogoni have been charged to reflect and move away from violence which can only destroy and not move the community forward.
Chairman board of directors of the Center for Environment Human Rights and Development, CEHRD, Chief Constance Meju gave the charge while paying tribute to a budding star of the community shot dead in August by cultists.
The deceased,late Baribefe Victor Bornu was a long serving volunteer of CEHRD who played a key role in the events that helped the community secure compensation from Shell over a massive oil pollution that destroyed their land, waterways and livelihood.
She described Befe as a committed, dedicated and courageous patriot cut down as he was getting set to start life.
According to her, by killing him, Bodo lost a lot and that is reason for those promoting violence in the community to reflect and surrender to tow the path of peace.
“Befe from the tributes in the programme was an asset to his community, CEHRD and the church. He has done much for this community working tirelessly and courageously with CEHRD, LeyDay and others to ensure Bodo got compensated for the massive environmental injustice it suffered. He knew everybody in the community and worked to see all got compensated.
“Killing such a young man who gave all, diving into the mud for samples, helping pull out those stuck in the mud, which demanded courage and commitment in his prime is like putting out a light. Bodo Community has lost a lot with the death of this promising young man. His family lost but Bodo lost more.
“I want to charge youths of this community to like Befe, embrace God and let peace reign so Bodo can go forward”, she advised.
Chief Meju said CEHRD would greatly miss Befe who served the organization for 17 years. She prayed God to comfort his family.
Delivering a burial message, the Charismatic Renewal Ministries Inc. pastor stressed that who ever killed Befe must give account.
Baribefe Victor Bornu aged 39 years, was shut dead on August 4, 2019 in his community by cultists to the shock of the community. He was describes as one who lived for others.
“At the community level, Befe will remain evergreen on the minds of grateful many. He worked tirelessly as fixer (community liaison) for Leigh Day and Co-solicitors in London from 2011 till he passed on. During this period, he also partnered with the Center for Environment Human Right and Development (CEHRD) since 2004 as environmental monitor.Truly, Befe was an unsung hero, a key player in community development”, part of his biography read.
He is survived by his mother, three brothers and two sisters. His remains were committed to mother earth in his compound on Saturday October 17, after an open air funeral service conducted by the Charismatic Renewal Ministries Inc. pastors and members.