Soldiers Kill Photographer, PDP Ward Chair in Bayelsa


Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa and Sylvester Idowu in Warri

Armed men, suspected to be soldiers, Saturday killed a Government House Photographer, Mr. Reginald Dei and one other person at Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.

In a similar case, three persons were reported dead in Amukpe, near Sapele, Delta state while two other persons, who sustained varying degrees of injury, were hospitalised..

In Bayelsa, THISDAY findings revealed that Dei, who was in his early forties, was killed alongside the Ward Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the area, Mr. Seidougha Taribi.

One of the sources said the two victims of the electoral violence were killed while they were in their houses and waiting for the votes which had been concluded in their Ward to be counted.

The source, who craved to speak privately with THISDAY, said the assailants shot victims to death in their residences for reasons yet to be ascertained.

But the Spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Major Ibrahim Abdullahi, told newsmen that soldiers were not involved in any skirmish in Southern Ijaw.

Chairman of Bayelsa PDP, Mr. Moses Cleopas said in a statement he issued yesterday that the death of Dei and Seidougha brought the number of the PDP members killed by some thugs allegedly working for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to three.

He accused some opposition members and a Surveillance Contractor in Nembe as being behind the violence that rocked Opu Nembe and Bassambiri.

In Warri, Delta State, three persons were yesterday reported dead in Amukpe, near Sapele, Delta state.THISDAY learnt that the deceased were eligible voters who were trying to cast their votes.

The incident, according to findings, happened along old Eku road Amukpe, Sapele Local Government Area, Delta State.

Security sources disclosed that some unknown gunmen stormed the polling units when the voting was still on and rain bullets on the voters. About two persons died instantly while one who got bullet wound was said to have died at the hospital. Two others have been hospitalized.

Residents, who volunteered information about the incident, said they were on queue waiting to be accredited when some armed men drove in and started shooting directly at voters.

One of the source did not state who the shooters were, though said it appeared they came to scare away the large crowd of voters at the polling unit.

He claimed some electoral materials were seen scattered on the floor with soldiers mounting barricade on the road.

However, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeyinka Adeleke said he was yet to be briefed on the incident and promised to revert back, which he never did as at press time.

In spite of massive cases of malfunctioning Card Readers, voting went on smoothly in other parts of Bayelsa yesterday.

Several of the leaders of the two main political parties in the state, namely the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) described the polls as peaceful, but admitted that the elections could be improved upon.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, who voted in his unit 039, Olazi Playground, described the process as peaceful in his area.

He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on the environment in which ad-hoc staff members were deployed, noting that all his votes were going to his party, the PDP across the state.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who voted at Opume, his village, said aside some card readers that declined to authenticate some voters, it was largely peaceful.

In Odi, KOLGA, two APC Chieftains Mr. Preye Aganaba and Warman Ogoriba told journalists that the election was going on well, despite a few hitches.

At the Igbainwari Jetty ward 7, Unit 14 polling unit of Opokuma East, where the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe voted, there were cases of card reader malfunction and some rowdiness due to delayed voting.

Alaibe said though he was disappointed with the delay in voting, the turnout was encouraging.

At Sampou community of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, where Douye Diri, a lawmaker representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency and Central Senatorial candidate of the PDP, voted.

Diri commended the INEC for the peaceful conduct and cautioned voters in the state against violent conduct at polling units.

In Agudama-Epetiama in Yenagoa Local Government Area, the conduct of the election was peaceful despite the late arrival of materials and malfunctioning of card readers.

The Commissioner for Youth Development, Udengs Eradiri, a former Ijaw Youth Council President, who voted in Unit 5,ward 10, said the peaceful conduct of the election was as a result of collaboration among stakeholders in the area.