Tension Mounts in Bayelsa as Shot Govt House Photographer Dies

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

A Bayelsa State Government House photographer, Mr. Reginald Dei, who miraculously survived after he was thought to have been killed by yet-to-be unidentified assailants in the February 23 election died yesterday.

Dei, who is just above forty, was said to have been shot by men decked in Nigerian Army uniform in Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state along with a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in the area, Mr. Seidougha Taribi, who died immediately after the attack.

His death occurred even as tension continued to mount in Nembe and Brass over reports that rampaging thugs had sacked the mobile policemen and the operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) deployed in the area.

Reports stated that the rampaging thugs dug military fashion trenches in Bassambiri with barricades allegedly to harass PDP members in the community and prevent those who fled the community from returning.

However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state in a statement by Doifie Buokoribo, noted that rather than being tagged the aggressors, the APC members in the state are actually victims of the violence in both Nembe and Brass.

On the late photographer, a statement issued by the Director of Communications, Governor’s Office, Chief Nathan Egba-Ologo, stated that Dei died after battling to survive the lethal wounds from the gunshots in a Yenagoa hospital last Sunday night.

He said the duo of Dei and Taribi were waiting for the outcome of the election in their ward at the politician’s residence, when they were shot without any form of resistance.

“While Dei who was initially taken for dead survived the attack until Sunday night, Taribi died on the spot. We therefore call on the relevant security agencies to investigate the activities of the various agencies in order to bring the culprits of the dastardly act to book.

“While the state was mourning the unfortunate murder of Taribi and Dei as a result of the brigandage that rocked the parts of the state during the presidential election, thugs working for APC chieftains have been allowed to wreak havoc in Nembe Bassambiri,” he said.

The government called on the leadership of the Nigerian Army and the other security agencies to prevent brigandage and a breakdown of law and order in the area ahead of the next elections.

It urged the security agencies to adhere strictly to their constitutional responsibility to ensure the provision of security and the right environment in the next election.

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the APC has dissociated itself from the electoral violence in Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw Local Government Council of the state.

The APC dismissed insinuations by the PDP in state that Taribi and Dei were victims of violence perpetrated by APC supporters.

In its account of the Oweikorogha incident, the APC said the PDP loyalists snatched the card reader and election materials and were thumb-printing when the security forces were called in.

“The APC is concerned that houses of our members and their relations have been burnt down in the community and property looted. Our members are also being hunted for possible assassination,” the APC alleged.