• Lauds arrest of thugs who manhandled police chief
By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa yesterday called for the replacement and redeployment of a new set of military officers to the troubled Nembe and Brass Local Government Areas (LGAs), alleging that those who were on duty during the February 23 elections had already been compromised.
The party has however, lauded the leadership of the Nigerian Police for the “bold” decision to arrest the masterminds of the abduction of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Federal Special Anti- Robbery Squad (FSARS), Mr. Kola Okunola, during the last election.
The Chairman of the party in the state, Chief Moses Cleopas, in a statement issued in Yenagoa, also raised the alarm that over 2,000 members of PDP loyalists who fled the violence in Nembe Bassambiri on the eve of the presidential election were being prevented from returning to their homes.
The PDP called on the federal government and the relevant security agencies to intervene in the tense security situation in Nembe Bassambiri where thugs allegedly backed by soldiers reportedly attacked their members to cart away election materials to Dairus Hotel for thumb-printing.
The state PDP chairman called on the Nigerian Army High Command to deploy a fresh set of soldiers to Nembe and Brass LGAs, insisting that the current set of soldiers had been compromised to tarnish the image of the establishment by aiding criminality and electoral violence in the state.
Cleopas expressed shock that the army had not been able to arrest any of the alleged APC thugs who had been shooting and harassing innocent people in the area.
He said it was rather shocking that the Nigerian Army had commenced a process of harassing innocent members of the PDP with a view to perpetrating low voters turnout to the detriment of the party in the area.
“Soldiers were sighted discussing with APC thugs who led people to break into the residence of a PDP stakeholder in the area, and former Commissioner for Special Duties, and later Water Resources, Chief Kuroghofa Walter Benwari.
“We call on the security agencies to ensure that the PDP members who fled Bassambiri during the attack by thugs aided by soldiers in Nembe Bassambiri are allowed to their residences without harassment,” he said.
However, the PDP chairman has lauded the leadership of the Nigerian Police for the “bold” decision to arrest the masterminds of the abduction of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of FSARS, Mr. Kola Okunola during the last election.
He called for immediate prosecution of the people that abducted Okunola and almost beheaded him before he was rescued for refusing to accept to manipulate the results in favour of an APC stalwart.