Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A few months after operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) shot at a medical doctor for hitting a stray dog with his car, officers of the corps yesterday again shot and severely wounded a neighbourhood watch leader in Ikarama, Yenagoa Council, Bayelsa.
The action subsequently trigged a protest by youths in the area who said they were being incessantly and unnecessarily harassed by the men of the security organisation.
Residents said that at about 1p.m., the NSCDC team reinforced with two fully loaded buses, returned to the community shooting indiscriminately and arresting people in the area.
It was learnt that Perekurofa Odoyibo, the victim, was shot twice in the arm and leg and is now battling for his life in a local bullet extraction centre after he questioned the rationale behind the arrest of a woman in place of her unavailable husband by the armed civil defence personnel.
â€œThe local vigilance team noticed the NSCDC van at about 3a.m. and was trying to find out why they had to take away a woman who is having children under care for an offence supposedly committed by the husband. They shot one of them and sped off with the woman they had arrested.
â€œThey came from the oilfield in Ikarama operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, and that is why the youths got mobilised and blocked the road to the Okordia manifold.
â€œSo this morning, the youths subsequently mobilised to protest the use of security men to molest oil communities, this is because we learnt that the arrest is linked to an oil spill incident,â€ Mr Ben Warder, a youth leader told journalists.
A visit to the Ikarama oilfields shows that youths from the area had commenced a protest and barricaded the access road to the manifold chanting solidarity songs.
The wife of the victim, Rebecca, regretted that her husband was shot and left in a pool of his blood and has been in pains for hours.
â€œLook at what they did to my husband who volunteered for the community vigilance work, he is there in pains and we lack the resources to take him to the hospital and we resorted to local treatment,â€ he said.
However, Mr. Orukari Udoji whose wife, Deborah said that he was out in the forests for his timber lumbering work when the NSDC stormed his residence and took away his wife.
Godwin Nwachukwu, Bayelsa Commandant of the NSCDC, confirmed the incident, stressing that he received a report of the incident and immediately assigned his men to find out â€˜what exactly happenedâ€™.
â€œAs we speak, the matter is being investigated , the preliminary investigation will guide us on the next step,â€ Nwachukwu noted.