Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Campaign Office of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the November 16 governorship poll in Bayelsa, Senator Douye Diri, had called on the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police to ensure the immediate prosecution of the suspected armed thugs who attempted to assassinate the Special Adviser to Governor Dickson on Youth Affairs, Bobolayefa Owoupele.
Director of Publicity, Jonathan Obuebite, said in a statement yesterday that the only way to avert needless violence and killings was for the police and other security agencies to adopt tough measures against perpetrators of political violence.
Spokesman of the Bayelsa Police Command, Asinim Butswat, who had earlier promised to reach out on the matter had not done at press time, but it was learnt that three of the seven suspects involved in the attempted assassination of Owoupele, have been arrested in the last 24 hours and are awaiting prosecution.
The alleged assassination attempt on the life of Owoupele, had led to an exchange of words between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The PDP accused APC thugs of carrying out the attempt on Owoupele, who is said to be critically ill in one of the hospitals in Yenagoa after they inflicted deep bottle injuries on the head, neck and arm.
Obuebite stated that the alleged armed APC thugs launched a ferocious attack on Owoupele at a car park in Opolo, around 8am in Yenagoa.
But Doifie Buokoribo, the APC Spokesman in the state, described the accusation as reckless, stressing that it was strange that any member of the party would be decked in uniforms bearing APC logo and then proceed to carry out such an action. The PDP expressed deep worry over what it described as the penchant of the APC leadership and their supporters in Bayelsa for violence and bloodletting and called on the Nigeria Police, the Directorate State Service and other security agencies to investigate those behind the act with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book.
The party insisted that those who witnessed the attack could attest to the ‘fact’ that the thugs were putting on fez caps and T-shirts of the APC and repeatedly asked the injure aide if he was the particular aide o Governor Dickson on Youth Affairs engrossed in mobilisation against them. “The armed thugs who were wearing branded t-shirts of the APC, and the party’s face cap, laid an ambush for Owoupele at a car wash at Opolo, Yenagoa, where he was attacked around 8am on Thursday.
“We wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms, the primitive penchant of the APC in Bayelsa State for needless aggression and violence as their strongest point in the ongoing political contest in the state.
“A political party with a genuine desire for the development of the society would place the requisite emphasis on the sanctity of human life rather than the execution of a barbaric plot to spread paranoia in the society a month to the gubernatorial election.
“It is indeed worrisome that the APC in Bayelsa has once again confirmed our repeated warning to the watching Nigerian society and the International Community that they a nest of angry politicians stockpiling arms for thugs to slaughter the innocent in their desperation for political control.
“It is becoming clearer as we move closer to the date of the election that the APC has failed to see the bold line between self-delusion and the reality of the crushing defeat awaiting them at the poll come November 16, 2019” the party said.
But reacting, the APC maintained that there was no iota of truth in the allegation and asked the PDP to look inwards.
“We have read a statement from the Senator Douye Diri Campaign Organisation falsely accusing our party of involvement in an alleged assassination attempt. We deny the accusation with all the force at our command.
“We consider the accusation reckless, irresponsible and provocative. It is unthinkable that any true APC with wear APC-branded T-Shirt and cap to embark on such a nefarious act.
“We insist that if indeed there was an assassination attempt on an aide of Governor Dickson, it is a PDP family affair. Our party should not be dragged into it” the APC said.
Obuebite, however, commended the Bayelsa State Command for the prompt response to the ‘audacious assault’ on the peace of the state by arresting three suspects barely 24 hours after the attack.
“While we demand sustained offensive against these armed thugs, we commend the police for the timely response to this ugly development by the APC in Bayelsa” the party said.