The Bayelsa State Government has vowed to prosecute hoodlums responsible for the killing of no fewer than three persons and injuring many in Twon-Brass, Brass Local Government Area of the state.
Twon-Brass has been under siege since August 15, 2018 by hoodlums suspected to be thugs loyal to the two dominant political parties in the area – the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress.
The State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd.), who made the vow on Friday during a news conference at Government House, Yenagoa, also said that the nine-hour curfew (9pm to 6am) imposed in the area remained in force.
Jonah said report reaching the government indicated that the said violence and mayhem was sponsored by some highly-placed individuals for political purposes.
He said the state government had directed the law enforcement agencies to carry out thorough investigation into the activities of the said hoodlums and ensure the prosecution of all persons that might be found culpable, no matter how highly placed.
Jonah warned all well-meaning and good people of the state, especially the people of Twon-Brass to remain law-abiding, saying the government would take all necessary lawful measures towards maintaining peace, law and order.
The deputy governor said, “It has come to the knowledge of the state government that on Wednesday, August 15, 2018, some hoodlums at Ada-Ama, Twon-Brass in Brass LGA of the state attacked peace loving members of Twon-Brass community with knives, guns and other dangerous weapons and injuring several persons and destroying property valued several millions of naira.
“The said persons kept the entire Twon-Brass community under seige for several days and perpetrated mindless violence in the community. Security personnel eventually arrested some of the hoodlums with guns and other dangerous weapons along with very substantial sums of money.
“Men of the Nigeria Police only succeeded in bringing the situation under control on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
“The state government is greatly dismayed that Twon-Brass, which is a major oil exporting terminal in the country is recently being used by non-state actors as a hub of criminal activities with its attendant adverse effect on the economy of not only the state, but of the entire country.
“The state government has consequently imposed curfew in Twon-Brass from 9pm to 6am. All residents of the area are expected to comply with the curfew, which will be lifted as soon as normalcy is restored.”
Meanwhile, the Caretaker Chairman, Brass LGA, Victor Isaiah, and a member representing Brass Constituency 1 in the State House of Assembly, Israel Sunny-Goli, are at daggers’ drawn over the bloody clash on Monday that led to the killing of three persons and injuring of several persons.
It was learnt that the victims of the clash were suspected thugs loyal to Isaiah and Sunny-Goli of the PDP and the APC respectively.
On Thursday, the APC sent a protest letter to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, over the incident, claiming that two of its members were killed in the violent attack by PDP thugs.
But Victor Isaiah dismissed the allegation, saying that the thugs were sponsored by an APC chieftain in the community, Sunny-Goli.
Isaiah on Friday dissociated the PDP from the violence, alleging that the youths made attempt on his life by attacking his personal lodge with guns and other dangerous weapons.
He said attempts by the alleged APC thugs to gain entrance into his official lodge were met with resistance from the LGA security volunteers group, saying that the PDP had nothing to do with the violence.
Isaiah said, “A few days ago, some suspected armed APC youths attacked the local government council aid and PDP youths. Now, they attempted to assassinate me but met my absence and were resisted by our security volunteers.
“One of the dead thugs, Kelly Ikurusi, the mastermind and leader of the Monday, August 20 failed assassination attempt on my life is a member of the APC in Brass and a known notorious criminal and cultist who escaped from police Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Yenagoa last year.
“Before his death, he was under police wanted list for breaking out of police (SARS) custody. After the successful cell break, he ran to Brass and was provided refuge by the APC chieftain.”
“The reports of his misdemeanours are known in Brass as he is daily fingered for armed robbery, snatching of phones, harassment of indigenes, among others”
He called on the Federal Government, the Inspector-General of Police and other relevant security agencies to investigate without bias, the alleged activities of the APC chieftain and ensure security in the community especially as election draws nearer.
The APC, on its part, accused the PDP of desperation to take over the area in 2019. The party alleged that the PDP was working in consonance with some individuals, hired mercenaries and security agencies to kill and unleash mayhem, threats, intimidation, unlawful arrests and detention of opposition members across the state.
Sunny-Goli had, in a statement, alleged that the violence was allegedly initiated by the PDP through the acting Chairman, Victor Isaiah, to intimidate, kill and chase out opposition members from Brass.