Pandemonium as hoodlums attack party secretariat, shoot policemen in Bayelsa
Suspected thugs on Thursday unleashed terror on Brass Island in Bayelsa State, attacking the secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party in the area and opening fire on security operatives.
This is just as suspected political thugs attacked some supporters of an All Progressives Congress House of Representatives aspirant, Mr Olatayo Aribo, and set one of his campaign vehicles ablaze in Ondo State.
In the Bayelsa incident, business and commercial activities were reportedly paralysed as PDP loyalists and other residents fled their homes.
It was learnt that the five-man gang, allegedly led by one Aboye from the neighbouring Rivers State, invaded the community in the early hours of Thursday.
They were said to have shot continuously to scare the people before carrying out the attack.
Briefing journalists in Yenagoa on Thursday, the Caretaker Chairman of the Brass Local Government Area, Victor Isaiah; the Deputy Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere; and the Senator representing Bayelsa East Senatorial District, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, condemned the attacks.
They alleged that the attacks were carried out by thugs loyal to the opposition All Progressives Congress in the area.
The caretaker chairman condemned the activities of APC chieftains in the area.
He accused them of masterminding the crisis rocking Brass Island, especially the killings and maiming of residents in recent times.
Isaiah said, “The APC thugs, armed with AK-47 rifles, invaded the Twon-Brass community in the early hours of today (Thursday) and attacked the PDP secretariat. They launched manhunts for the PDP members in the area.
“The thugs were led by Aboye. The onslaught lasted several hours. During the shootout, the PDP secretariat was attacked, while they opened fire on the security operatives.”
He said the operation was carried out on the orders of some APC leaders who were billed to attend a funeral in Twon Brass this weekend.
According to him, insecurity, sequel to the activities of the political thugs of the APC, is becoming a recurring decimal.
He called on the Inspector-General of Police and other security operatives in the state to be alive to their constitutional responsibility of securing the lives and property of people in the state.
The Senator representing the area, Murray-Bruce, called on the authorities to invest more in security.
He said the police station on Brass Island was in a sorry state.
Murray-Bruce said, “The structure is not befitting. There is the need for the police authorities to invest more in their personnel.
“Mr IG, there is the need for more investment in personnel because of the sensitive nature of their constitutional responsibilities.”
The Deputy Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Ingobere, called for a thorough investigation into the incident and arrest of the culprits to serve as a deterrent to others.
The APC Publicity Secretary in Bayelsa State, Doifie Buokoribo, could not be reached for comments as his telephone line did not connect and he had yet to respond to a text message sent to him as of press time.
The spokesman for the state police command, Mr Asinim Butswat, said the incident was a clash between cults, adding that he could not tell if the PDP secretariat was attacked.
Butswat said, “I have not been briefed that police operatives in the area were attacked. I am also not aware that the PDP secretariat was attacked.
“We are investigating the incident to know the cults that were involved in the clash. Also, nobody was injured during the clash.”
The attack on the APC Ondo State House of Representatives aspirant happened on Wednesday.
The incident happened in Owo, the headquarters of the Owo LGA of the state and hometown of the state Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu.
According to a source, the attack occurred between 10pm and 11pm at the Post Office area of the town.
The source noted that the two victims of the attack, identified as Lanre Kako and Tope, who were inside a bus, stopped at the area to buy suya when the hoodlums struck.
“When the thugs saw the campaign vehicle, they fired shots at it, but the occupants escaped. It was afterwards that they set the vehicle ablaze; but no one was killed or injured.
“Even though the people around the area put off the fire, the thugs reinforced and came back to set the vehicle on fire again until it got burnt completely,” the source added.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident, saying the command had commenced investigation into it.
He, however, said no casualty was recorded and no arrest had been made.
He said, “It was a fight among members of a political party, but nobody was killed. We have also begun investigation into the incident.”