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Bayelsa Under Siege Ahead of Rescheduled Polls

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Bayelsa State last night came under siege barely 24 hours to the  rescheduled governorship election as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) claimed five of its supporters might have been killed in attacks by thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

The PDP raised the alarm following massive gun shots reportedly unleashed on its supporters in Nembe Bassambri by APC thugs leaving in its wake five dead bodies and others sustaining various degrees of injuries.

The police was yet to disclose the identities of the victims as those injured were seen being rushed to Yenagoa, the state capital, for urgent medical attention last night.

In a statement condemning the development, Bayelsa State PDP last night said the attack on its members was ‘barbaric and mindless’ just as it decried the ‘militarization’ of the polls.

Spokesman of the Restoration Campaign Organisation, Jonathan Obuebite, noted in the statement that the situation in Nembe,Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw was particularly worrisome, adding that activities of the alleged thugs had created “a verytensed atmosphere and regrettable”.

He further stated : ”It is unfortunate that the thugs are allowed to move about freely bearing dangerous and sophisticated arms without any form of interrogation by the security agencies.  Even more disturbing is the fact that these mindless and blood thirsty criminals are allowed to carry on with impunity without any arrest or invitation by the police or DSS”.

It was gathered last night that a notorious militant leader, General Ogunbos, in company of other militants were on rampage in Ogbombiri , Southern Ijaw, holding the police and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) hostage and had taken possession of sensitive electoral materials meant for the rerun election.

General Ogunbos was said to be threatening peaceful conduct of the polls as people in the community were also said to be very terrified because the police themselves were helpless.

“The police here witnessed all the criminalities being perpetrated by Ogunbos and his men but they looked dejected and helpless. No action was taken against them, disturbing the peace. It is certain given the level of violence and mayhem being unleashed on the eve of the supplementary election that the election tomorrow (Saturday) will be completely marred if the security agencies fail to take more purposeful action to deal with the deteriorating situation”, said a community leader who pleaded anonymity.

The PDP on its part called on the police and other security agencies to forthwith step up to their responsibility by taking charge of the situation and put a stop to the “brigandage, gangsterism and thuggery of the APC in the state”.

As at the time of filling this report, the PDP youths in the affected community were making efforts to call for security reinforcement from the military but it could not be ascertained if such intervention had yielded fruit.


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