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One shot killed, 8 injured as Ex-militants protest against Bayelsa gov

By Arodiegwu Eziukwu, Yenagoa on 14/03/2015

Views: 3,336

Bayelsa youths, mostly ex-militant leaders, Friday staged a violent protest against the style of leadership of Governor Seriake Dickson, whom they accused of deliberately starving the entire state with the excuse of low allocation from federal government.

The protest had one person, suspected to be an ex-militant youth, feared dead, while eight others sustained serious injuries following a clash with armed policemen.

The youths also accused the governor of an alleged plan to hijack the multimillion oil pipeline surveillance contract from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to oil-bearing communities in the state.

The protest by the ex-militants, including some sympathetic groups such as the physically challenged persons, started at about 6am yesterday at the Tombia-Etegwe roundabout with travellers stranded and commercial activities brought to a halt.

The arrival of combatant policemen deployed from the State Police Headquarters and the shooting of tear gas canister into the crowd led to a rowdy and violent confrontation.

While the angry youths reportedly fought back by vandalising the truck of the police team with heavy rocks and demobilizing the truck with burning tyre, the armed policemen descended on them with heavy batons and butt of the rifle.

Over nine vehicles were vandalised in the ensued crisis with markets and business outlets including the popular Camp Murphy relaxation spot vandalised.

It took the intervention of the State Police Command and some members of the Presidential Amnesty Implementation Committee to calm the frayed nerves.

It was gathered that one John Opotobo, an ex-militant youth from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state was killed in the fracas, while others sustained various degrees of injuries on the head and neck.

Police Public Relations Officer of Bayelsa Police Command, Butswat Ansim, however, denied the killing of one of the protesting ex-militant youths, ”the police only shot tear gas canisters to disperse them. The police did not shoot live cartridges.”

But he confirmed that six of the protesting ex-militants were arrested.

An ex-militant leader, Comrade Eris Paul popularly known as General Ogunboss, who participated in the protest, said they staged the protest due to the wrong policies of the present administration in the state and the plot by Governor Seriake Dickson to hijack a multibillion dollar NNPC pipeline surveillance contract to communities in the state.

According to Ogunboss,” aside from the numerous show of incompetence by the present administration, Dickson is trying to hijack the job meant for the oil bearing communities in the state. Most of the South-South states have signed the allocation of the surveillance contract but Dickson is insisting that the job be awarded to a self-styled company known as Izon Ibe, a security outfit that we don’t know.

“Dickson should concentrate on the use of State allocation and internally generated revenue to advance the good of the state rather than hijack jobs coming to communities".

•Photo shows Governor Dickson.


Source News Express

Posted 14/03/2015 03:40:56 AM





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