Four Suspects Arrested For Allegedly Initiating Minors Into Cultism

Gboko Killings: Police Arrest 16 Suspects In Benue
A file photo of arrested suspects

 

The Bayelsa State police command says they have arrested four suspects in the Okutukutu Community area of Yenagoa, the state capital for allegedly initiating minors into cultism.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the police spokesperson, Asinim Butswat on Friday.

Butswat said the suspects were arrested following a tip-off and in collaboration with the vigilante of Okutukutu community.

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“The suspects were arrested when one of the minors they had initiated informed his elder brother of the alleged initiation.

“All the suspects confessed to the crime and are being interrogated, for further investigation at the Anti-Cultism Unit, State Criminal Investigation Department, Yenagoa,” the statement added.

The suspected cultists include Godbless Jackson, Happy Osoro, Lawson Nmor and Dennis Sunday all residents of Okutukutu Community.

Sporadic Violence As Nigerians Vote In State Elections

 

Sporadic violence-marred polls in Kogi and Bayelsa states on Saturday despite a heavy security presence after a bloody run-up to the elections.

The Southern oil-rich Bayelsa and central Kogi are among seven states where gubernatorial elections are held at different times from the general election due to court rulings.

Bayelsa has been ruled by the main opposition People’s Democratic Party since Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999.

Counting began on Saturday evening.

Election officials said results had been trickling in but voting would continue in areas where there had been stray violence.

In Bayelsa, the election was canceled in some stations in the Ogbia area following the abduction of an election official and the burning of voting materials.

Voting opened late in most polling stations in the state, with long queues forming in Yenagoa, the state capital, and elsewhere.

In Otuoke, the hometown of former President Goodluck Jonathan, party thugs fought over the late arrival and distribution of voting materials.

Many people were injured in the fracas.

The polls officially closed at 2:00 pm (1300 GMT), but electoral officials said those who had already queued up would be allowed to vote even after the deadline.

Some 900,000 voters are eligible to vote for the candidates of 45 political parties in 1,804 polling stations across Bayelsa.

The leading candidates are David Lyon of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressive Congress (APC) and PDP’s Douye Diri, a former senator.

The winner of the election will replace PDP Governor Seriake Dickson, who is stepping down after two four-year terms, the legal maximum.

The Independent Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC) said over 31,000 police had been deployed in Bayelsa, as well as 87 be gunboats, to prevent violence.

Helicopters, soldiers, riot police

Police helicopters hovered over Yenagoa, while soldiers and anti-riot police mounted roadblocks at major points, an AFP reporter said.

This week, a staffer at a radio station was shot dead and many injured during an attack on a political rally in Bayelsa, and in Kogi state, a campaign office was burnt down.

“Already there have been several instances of violence at election campaign rallies in both Bayelsa and Kogi states,” Amnesty International said.

Voters on Saturday said they wanted a peaceful election.

“We crave a free, fair and hitch-free election in Bayelsa. Everybody should be allowed to exercise his or her franchise without harassment and intimidation,” Joseph Cookey, a textile trader in the southern city of Port Harcourt, told AFP.

Housewife Alice Ebere urged “politicians to shun violence and allow the wish of people to prevail”.

In Kogi where incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello of APC is seeking re-election against Musa Wada of PDP and 22 other candidates, a boy was shot in the leg when a group of people stormed into a polling unit and snatched ballot boxes.

Local reports also said some party agents were beaten up at another polling booth in the state.

In Kogi, a total of 35,200 police had been deployed to protect some 1.5 million registered voters, according to INEC.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with 190 million people, has a long history of electoral violence, vote-buying, ballot-stuffing, and voter intimidation.

Dozens of people were killed during the 2019 general election which returned Buhari to power.

In 2011, hundreds of people were killed in post-election violence, mostly in northern Nigeria.

Buhari, the 76-year-old general who headed a military regime in the 1980s, has promised to reform the country’s electoral system to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

Gunmen Kill Policeman, Injure Another In Yenagoa

Gunmen Kill Policeman, Injure Another In Yenagoa

 

A policeman was killed and another injured by gunmen on Friday while on duty in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

The spokesman for the State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, confirmed this to Channels Television on Saturday.

He explained that the victims were guarding a hotel located on the D.S.P. Alamesiagha road in Yenagoa before they were attacked by the gunmen.

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“On 15 March 2019, at about 2100hours, unknown gunmen operating in a Toyota Camry car, Reg. number unknown, went to a hotel at Opolo, Yenagoa and without provocation opened fire at the two policemen on duty,” Butswat said.

He added, “The policemen fired back at the armed robbers and in the ensuing gun battle, one sergeant was fatally wounded. He was rushed to the Federal Medical Center, Yenagoa, where he was later confirmed dead. The other policeman is responding to treatment.”

The account by the police was corroborated by the residents of the area who said the gunmen stormed the hotel and started shooting at the policemen who were caught unawares.

The command spokesman noted that the attackers also had their own share of the gunfight as they escaped with bullets wounds.

According to him, following the incident, a team of policemen raided a notorious criminal hideout based on a tip-off, an operation which led to the arrest of some suspects.

Butswat said that those arrested had been providing the police with useful information that would help to apprehend other fleeing suspects.

One Killed As Gunmen Attack Troops In Yenagoa

 

The army says troops of 16 Brigade on routine patrol were today attacked by gunmen at Swali Market area in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

In a statement, the spokesperson of the 16 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Major Jonah Danjuma, explained that the gunmen, numbering about seven, opened fire on the troops on sighting them.

“One of the bandits attempted to snatch a riffle of one of the soldiers. In the process he was neutralized while others took to their heels.

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Efforts are on to track them,” he stated.According to the army, there are allegations that the armed men had been robbing people around the market for some time now. Items recovered from the gunmen include one locally made pistol, ammunition, one mobile phone and the sum of N8,350.

While reassuring the people of Bayelsa State and environs of their safety, army asked those in possession of illegal arms to turn them in to security agencies or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.

Again, Suspected Pirates Attack Bayelsa Community

Another attack has occurred in Bayelsa State, barely 24-hours after gunmen suspected to be pirates attacked a commercial boat en route Yenagoa, the state capital.

Two passengers including a pregnant woman were shot in the Thursday attack when the pirates attacked the boat travelling from Koluama to Yenagoa.

The fresh attack occurred on Friday morning by 8:45 a.m. as the suspected sea pirates attacked a commercial boat at Okobotuo area, along Akassa-Yenagoa waterways.

They carted away a 115 horsepower boat engine at Okobotuo Area along Akassa-Yenagoa waterways as they shot into the air, scaring residents who scampered into safety.

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These incidents which occurred in quick succession has created fear amongst residents of the state.

The Commissioner of Police in the State, Don Awunah, who spoke with Channels Television blamed the attacks on increased insecurity on the waterway and the riverine topography of Bayelsa State.

Bayelsa is 80% water and 20% land. So we are more likely to have crime that is water based and increase in sea piracy. We are on top of it. We are collaborating with other agencies including the Navy, Army, JTF and Civil Defence,” he said.

He also called for calm amongst residents, saying he believes the collaborative efforts of all security agencies in the state will nib the ugly situation in the bud.

Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa State, Don Awunah.

NBA Decries Endangered Justice Delivery In Bayelsa

NBA Decries Endangered Justice Delivery In Bayelsa The Yenagoa and Sagbama branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Bayelsa state, have raised an alarm over what they described as the denial of justice to the people of the region.

The Federal High Court and the Industrial High Court jointly addressed a press conference to inform the general public of their displeasure over the lack of legal activities at the Yenagoa division of both courts.

Hon. Justice Tersee Agbadu-Fishimi of National Industrial Court and Hon. Justice H. Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court, the judges of both courts which have been adjudged to be among the busiest in the country, are currently undergoing criminal investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), hence their absence to preside over sittings.

Members of the association said they have since made appeals to the Chief Justice of the Federation and the National Executive of the Nigerian Bar Association to quickly fill up the void created by the investigation.

Among the agitators, was also the Attorney General of Bayelsa State, Kemesuode Wodu, who called for the immediate resumption of legal activities at the two affected courts.

He stated that his office had made serious efforts at ensuring that legal functions resume.

Meanwhile, the father of Ese Oruru, a 14 year old who was alleged to have been abducted by Yinusa, expressed worry over the fact that the lack of legal activities at the court would further stall the court proceedings.

Reacting to the matter, the Bayelsa State government, advised citizens to continue to exercise patient as well as remain law abiding.

The government also called on relevant authorities to post new judges to preside over the courts while awaiting the conclusion of the investigation of the accused judges.

Army Chief Commissions 16 Brigade Facility In Bayelsa

Tukur Buratai Commissions 16 Brigade Facility In BayelsaIn a bid to stem the tide of crime and criminality in the Niger Delta region, the Nigerian Army says it is planting more military brigades across the country.

Speaking during the commissioning of a temporary accommodation for the newly created 16 Brigade in Yenagoa, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, said the army is poised to tackle insecurity within the Niger Delta region.

General Buratai highlighted the reasons behind the setting up of the new brigade while appreciating Governor Seriake Dickson for support given to the Army in Bayelsa State.

In his response, Governor Dickson lauded the temporary office of the 16 Brigade and described it as the best in the federation.

He, however, appealed for more support from the Army authorities to the newly established brigade.

In his address, the Commander of the Brigade, Brigadier General Kelvin Aligbe, outlined the achievements they have made in the absence of a temporary site.

Pleased by the accolades received, the commander and officers of the 16 Brigade stated their commitment to protecting the citizens, waterways and national assets in Bayelsa State.

Bayelsa NSCDC Uncovers Plot To Attack MTN

Bayelsa NSCDC Uncovers Plot To Attack MTNThe Bayelsa state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has revealed plans by some persons to attack investments of MTN in the state as a reprisal following the ongoing xenophobia attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

In a statement, the Bayelsa Commander of NSCDC, Mr Desmond Agu, said that the corps is on red alert to stop aggrieved persons from destroying MTN facilities in the state.

Mr Agu said intelligence reports revealed that such persons were planning to vent their anger on MTN’s masts and other facilities.

The Commander however advised the people behind such plots to desist from toeing a violent path and appealed to members of the public to report suspicious people to the corps.

“Our attention has been drawn to an intelligence report that some people are planning to carry out an attack on South African investments, especially the MTN’s telecommunication masts and other facilities following the ongoing xenophobia attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

“Members of the public especially Bayelsans are hereby advised to desist from such acts and avoid taking laws into their hands.

“As an organisation saddled with the responsibility of protecting our critical national infrastructures, the command remains committed to deliver on its mandate.

“Members of the public are hereby advised to report person or group of persons suspected to be planning such attacks to the command,” Mr Agu stated.

FG Mulls Authorising Illegal Refineries To Transform Niger Delta

Paul Boroh, Niger Delta, RefineriesAmidst the challenges of inadequate local refining capacity and meeting the demand for refined petroleum products, the Federal Government seems to be thinking of encouraging artisanal refineries which had bridged the product supply gap for decades.

Although outlawed, more than 60% of diesel and kerosene used in the region are sourced from local bush refineries produced from stolen crude through fractional distillation.

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd), says the Federal Government plans to liberalise modular refineries to develop the oil rich Niger Delta region.

Mr Boroh, who is the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, assured the people of the region that the proposed modular refineries in oil-producing communities would engender a new era in the Niger Delta region.

New Vision For Niger Delta

Speaking on Saturday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, he restated the commitment of the President Buhari’s administration towards the people of the region.

The President’s aide stated that the Federal Government’s intention of making oil bearing the hub for refining and related activities would not only create decent jobs and income for the people, but put them in a better position to drive the local economy.

While lauding the government’s new vision for the region, appealed to the youths to be calm, focused and more articulate in their quest for better living conditions and take advantage of the good gestures of the present administration.

“The Federal Government is seeking better ways for Niger Delta people to participate in the development process of the region through meaningful engagements.

“The Federal Government’s new partnership arrangement will bring about an unprecedented infrastructural development in the region.

“The government is working with the oil-producing states, local governments, oil companies and the private sector, including civil society organisations to achieve sustainable development in Niger Delta,” the amnesty coordinator revealed.

New Hub For Refining Activities

Boroh further commended the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, for taking the pains to identify with the people through his tour of the region.

I’m Not Under Any Pressure To Resign – Osinbajo
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo visits Niger Delta region

“The planned oil-communities-intervention-meeting by the Federal Government to chart short, medium and long term development blueprint is a strategy to enhance the socio-economic activities in the region.

“The proposed coming on stream of modular refineries in oil bearing communities, the ex-agitators and other youths in the region will be meaningfully engaged in decent job.

“Those with entrepreneurial skills in oil and gas can participate in the petro-chemical industries in their communities which will soon become the new hub for refining activities,” he explained.

Reacting to Boroh’s remarks, Chairman of Phase II Ex-agitators in the Niger Delta, Honourable Salvation Rifus, applauded President Buhari for demonstrating his sincere wish for the people of the region.

He said the option of allowing modular refineries to be located in oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta region speaks volume of the sincere intentions of the present administration towards the Niger Delta youths.

Rifus added that the tour of the oil communities by the Acting President had shown that the Federal Government was committed to the development of the region.

He noted that the decision to allow the oil bearing communities to legally operate modular refineries was the best thing that has happened to the people, describing it as a welcome development.

Fire Destroys Electrical Shop Worth Millions Of Naira In Yenagoa

Fire Destroys Electrical Shop Worth Millions Of Naira In Yenagoa A multi-million-naira electrical shop (Jico Tech Nigeria), located at Amarata, in the heart of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, rendering electrical services to the entire state, was on Saturday gutted by fire.

An interview with one of the sales boys at the shop revealed that the inferno may have been caused by an electrical spark.

The shop is housed at the ground floor of a gigantic one storey building with other adjoining shops and its warehouse and staff rooms upstairs.

Explaining the incident, the sales boy, Uzodinma Okoye, said: “at around 7:00 am in the morning, NEPA brought light and we changed over. After a little while when we came down to start business for today, we saw heavy smoke coming out from the store where hundreds of million naira electrical materials are shaded.

“We raised alarm and forced the door open but behold, the fire had long engulfed almost all sections of the shop”.

The head of sales however said he was satisfied with the quick arrival of the fire fighters and their efforts in putting out the fire, limiting the impact of the damage from spreading to other parts of the building.

Osinbajo Gives Assurance Of Development In Niger Delta Region

We Hear You, Loud And Clear, Osinbajo Tells ProtestersThe acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has assured the Niger Delta  region of the Federal Government’s readiness to genuinely draw a roadmap, that will  lead to the peace and development of oil producing states.

The acting President, who is on a one day visit to Bayelsa State made this known in Yenagoa, the state capital.

After commissioning a new built Helicopter, Prof. Osinbajo proceeded to the secretariat of the Traditional Rulers Council, where he was received by the first class traditional rulers in the state.

However, the chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council and Amayanabo of Twon Brass, HRM king Alfred Diete-Spiff while welcoming Prof Osinbajo, explained the reasons behind the ongoing activism in the Niger Delta that is now commonly referred to as militancy.

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa state Governor, Seriake Dickson, told Prof. Osinbajo that in spite of all the underlying issues regarding pipeline vandalism and the agitations for resource control, Bayelsa state remains the most peaceful state in the region.

 

Dickson Suggests Motorcycle Patrol To Police In Bayelsa

Dickson Recommends Police Motorcycle Patrol Unit In BayelsaBayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has called on the Nigeria Police to set up a motorcycle patrol unit in a bid to extend its dragnet to all nooks and crannies of the state.

Dickson suggested the new move in the fight against crime and criminality in the state, while receiving the new Commissioner of Police, Mr Asuquo Amba, and his entourage in Government House, Yenagoa.

While assuring Amba of his administration’s total support in his efforts to make Bayelsa state crime-free, the Governor called on the Police to “flush out criminals, kidnappers, pipeline vandals, cultists and their sponsors”.

“It is necessary to make Bayelsa State the safest state in the country,” he said.

He also cautioned against the politicisation of security-related issues in the state, stressing that the matters of security should be treated strictly without any political undertone.

The Governor urged the State Command of the Police to collaborate with other security agencies in the state towards sustaining the existing peace, as a peaceful and stable atmosphere is paramount to attracting investments and development.

“You have a crop of dedicated and well-meaning officers and men in this command and we are proud of the work they do, so you have our support.

“The only thing I always say when Police Commissioners come is that, in Bayelsa we don’t condone politicisation of crime.

“Crime is crime, crime has no colour, no creed and crime has no political affiliation and that is the golden rule we want to see observed,” he said.

The new CP in his response pointed out that the Bayelsa government’s policy of zero tolerance for crime and violence was in sync with the Inspector General of Police directive to all the commands in the country.

While expressing preparedness to intensify policing in the state, the CP highlighted some of his achievements within two weeks of his posting to Bayelsa.

“The Police had apprehended a syndicate comprising two ex-soldiers specialised in stealing parked vehicles, using master keys and five persons suspected of vandalising the state-owned gas turbine,” Amba said.

The Police Commissioner also announced the arrest of a suspected kidnapper, and the recovery of 10 vehicles so far from the syndicate.

He added that investigations were ongoing in all the cases.