Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, Thursday visited the family of late Seidougha Taridi, a leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was alleged to have been killed by men in Nigerian Army uniform during the last elections.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, stated that the governor was accompanied on the visit by top officials of the state government and the leaders of the Bayelsa State Council.
The governor said the state government, the PDP and the entire state were saddened by the gruesome murder of the PDP Ward Leader in the community by men in army uniform suspected to be soldiers.
He described Taridi’s death as shocking and painful as it was a needless case of cold blooded murder of an innocent man who was not involved in any incident near a polling unit but was killed in his own house in his toilet by soldiers.
Dickson stressed that late Taridi was in his house when soldiers were invited to gun him down, and a Government House photographer, Reginald Dei, who survived the attack.
He said his administration has inaugurated a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to formally investigate and document the violence that rocked the elections in some parts of the state for posterity.
According to him, “There was no need for it (the shooting). He was not fighting with anybody, he was not armed in any way, he wasn’t near even a polling station neither was he near electoral materials.
“He was in his own house, in his sitting room when some people came in and invited soldiers to gun him down in the privacy of his own home.
“This is not just a gruesome act of terminating the live of a promising young man, it is a collective assault on our state, and that is why I have led this delegation to personally come to condole with you, his father, wife, children, brother and sisters and all other members of the Taribi family.
“And we have state our resolve to bring the perpetrators of this gruesome cold blooded murder to book in any way we can. I want to thank you all for your courage.” he
Responding, family Spokesman, Mr. Temple Igunikeke, gave a detailed account of how Taridi and the Government House Photographer were shot inside the house.
According to him, two men whose identities he gave as Koripamo Ogili and Thankgod Deizigha led the men in army uniform to Taridi’s residence where the deceased was resting to carry out the shooting.
Igunikeke, who spoke in the presence of the father and widow of the deceased, said Taridi and Dei were resting in the house after voting to await the outcome of the election when the two men led the assailants to the residence to shoot them. He called on the government and the relevant agencies to investigate the killing of Taridi and the shooting of Dei, to ensure that those involved in the murder are brought to justice.
“We had finished elections and we were counting and there was no single event anywhere, and as the leader that led us, he needed to rest a little and take back the votes to Oporoma, and he was in his home with our dear brother, the photographer of government house.
“No single Oweikorogha man expected what they have done. Nobody was there, and of course, he had the right to remain in his house, and they came in and killed him,” he stated.