A 26-year-old man, Iruo Ayebatonyo Jnr, was on Monday shot dead while several others sustained various degrees of injuries in a bloody clash among youths of the Okpoama community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The deceased, who is identified as the Public Relations Officers (PRO) Okpoama Kingdom Youth Movement, was shot close to the neck region and died after arriving at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
It was gathered that the a bloody fight started on Sunday night in the community when two factions loyal to some members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) clashed.
It was gathered that the warring faction (APC and APGA) exchanged gunfire that led to serious injuries and pandemonium in the community.
Confirming the incident, the State Assembly member representing Brass Constituency II, Hon. Belemote Watson, condemned the attack.
Watson told newsmen in state that the clash in Okpoama Kingdom was caused by suspected thugs and mercenaries, all in the name of Youth elections.
The lawmaker, however, called on the stakeholders in Okpoama to do the needful by fishing out the perpetrators for disciplinary action.
Watson said, “the peace of Okpoama Kingdom is sacrosanct and we cannot afford to live in fear in our communities. We cannot be taken hostage by suspected thugs and mercenaries”.
In his reaction, the Caretaker Chairman of the Brass Local Government Council, Hon. Victor Isiah ordered the immediate suspension of the youth executive election in the area.
Isiah said, “I received with total dismay the unfortunate news of violence and public unrest in Okpo-ama in events preceding the youth executive election scheduled to hold on Mon, February 6th, 2018, and i have directed for an immediate suspension of the election process till further notice.
“My expedient decision is as a result of the rising tensions and already violent atmosphere characterizing the youth elections with a view to averting a palpable intra-communal crisis in the Kingdom.
“Following confidential security reports I received from Okpo-ama a fortnight ago, and after independently investigating and analysing the indicators, I duly consulted some principal actors involved in organisation of the election and I also alerted relevant security agencies to keep an eye on events so as to forestall any untoward development leading to the youth election.
“However, with the sad development recorded today, i have resolved to set up a committee to mediate in the entire process and bring about a lasting peace in Okpo-ama kingdom. Therefore, i have directed all Security operatives in Twon-Brass to move and monitor the situation in Okpo-ama to ensure maintenance of Peace, law and order in the Kingdom.
“I wish to use this medium to thank the security operatives especially the police for their prompt response to the situation. I also want to called on indigenes of Okpo-ama Kingdom to go about their lawful duties and shun acts capable of disrupting the peace of the area as the situation has been well contained”.
Meanwhile, when contacted, the spokesman of the State Police Command, Mr. Asimin Butswat, confirmed that he was in consultation with the newly deployed Commissioner of Police over the incident.