By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State yesterday met with the aggrieved people of Biogbolo Community in Yenagoa, where an 18-year-old girl was allegedly murdered in a hotel by one Tochukwu, his purported lover.
The culprit, still at large, was said to have taken the young girl to the guest house, stabbed her and removed someÂ vital organs from her body. She died the next day in the hospital.
Tochukwuâ€™s action sparked reactions from youths, who protested the killing of their kin, leading to the closure of the businesses belonging to the non-indigenes.
While addressing representatives of Biogbolo and Igbo communities at a closed-door meeting in Government House, the governor urged the youths to maintain a cordial relationship with the Igbo people in the area and vowed that government would arrest and prosecute the suspect.
He said although the unfortunate incident occurred when he was on a working visit to the United States, directives were immediately given to the police and other security agencies to apprehend the suspect and all who might have played any role in the act.
The governor warned those who are taking advantage of the situation to disrupt peace and socio-economic activities by harassing Igbo traders in the community to stop forthwith or face the wrath of government.
He, therefore, urged the people of Biogbolo community to allow Igbo traders reopen their shops for business today as the alleged crime was committed by an individual and not all the Igbo people.
According to him, the Igbo people in the state have been peaceful and law abiding.
While commending the leadership of the Biogbolo community for their show of understanding and maturity, Dickson stressed the need for them to sensitise their people on the dangers of taking the law into their hands.
Also, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Asuquo Amba, described the deliberation as fruitful, saying efforts were in top gear to ensure the arrest of the suspect in no distant time.
Also speaking, the Caretaker Chairman of the Yenagoa local council, Oboku Oforji expressed gratitude to the governor for the measures put in place to achieveÂ lasting peace between the people of Biogolo, the Igbo and other residents in the area.
He described the governorâ€™s directive on the reopening of shops owned by Igbo peopleÂ as timely and in the best interest of both Biogbolo and Igbo communities.
The President of Ohanaeze, Bayelsa State chapter, Chief Amaka Maurice and his Unified Traders Association counterpart, Chief Ukachukwu Ohaeri, also pledged to cooperate with security agencies.
Representatives of the community, led by Longlife Gilbert, assured the state government of the communityâ€™s readiness to abide by the directive.