One killed as PDP, APC supporters clash in Bayelsa

ONE person was killed on Wednesday as supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) clashed in Ogbolomabiri in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State during a PDP campaign rally.

According to eyewitness account, suspected armed thugs unleashed mayhem, killing a Bayelsa State Broadcast Corporation’s OB van driver, as the supporters of the PDP and APC were involved in the clash.

The Radio Bayelsa OB van bus driver, identified as Simon Onu, was hit by stray bullet and died on the spot as he tried to maneuver his vehicle from the troubled spot.

Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune via telephone, an indigene of the town, Mr Ikaderinyo Solomon, said that “the PDP campaign rally was about to commence when the armed men attacked us at the King Koko Square.

“I am an indigene of Nembe and I know what I saw. The place was like a war zone.”

As a result the governorship campaign rally of the PDP in the area was disrupted.

The state governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson, was billed to attend the rally in company of the candidate of the party, Senator Douye Diri.

Trouble, it was learnt, started when some supporters of one of the political parties started defacing posters and flags of the rival party.

Shooting by armed men reportedly rocked the King Koko Square, venue of the campaign, as party supporters were waiting for the dignitaries to arrive.

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The attackers, it was also learnt, opened fire on the Protocol bus of the Bayelsa State Government House, along the junction between Bassambiri and Ogbolomabiri.

Some journalists covering the rally were also caught in the cross-fire, while many others sustained different degrees of injury.

Trapped journalists were, however, rescued and moved out of the troubled area by armed military personnel.

Confirming the shootings, spokesperson of the Nembe Chiefs Council, Chief Nengi James, said there was a clash between rival supporters of the PDP and APC in Nembe, resulting in injuries.

He said: “I can confirm that supporters of the PDP and APC clashed in Nembe, with some persons sustaining various degree of injuries, but however, no death has been recorded.”

Also, a prominent indigene of the area and former senator representing Bayelsa East senatorial district, Senator Nimi Barigha-Amang, has condemned, in its entirety, the act of provocation and violence meted on the community allegedly by supporters of the PDP.

In his statement, Chief Senator Nimi Barigha-Amangi noted that the approved venue for the PDP rally was King Koko Square and instead of going about their normal business of the day, went about chanting war songs around the community terrorising and molesting passers-by.

Chief Barigha-Amange said that this was uncalled for, because other parties used the same venue for their rallies and they were peaceful.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Asinim Bustwart, was yet to respond to calls made to confirm the incident as of the time of filing this report.