Two persons have been confirmed dead with five others including a journalist injured following the invasion of the All Progressive Congress (APC) secretariat by some armed hired thugs to disrupt the inauguration of the new acting chairman of the party, Hon. Joseph Fafi.
One of the persons killed was confirmed as APC member from Sagbama Local Council Area of the State, the other was a hawker. They were both caught in the exchange of gunfire between security agencies and the armed thugs.
Some Journalists at the event, particularly a reporter with Rhythm FM station, Jesse Ese, was injured while trying to jump the barb wired fence of the party’s secretariat.
Trouble started at about 10am when the armed thugs who disguised as party protesters beat the security barricade mounted by the men of the Nigerian Police Force and went directly to the APC secretariat complex.
While the security personnel kept watch over the perceived protesters, some faithful of the APC raised the alarm over the alleged possession of dangerous arms by the thugs.
Morningmail reporter who was present at the venue, observed that the attempts to stop the protesters resulted in fracas and gun shots were heard from some of the protesters and the policemen retaliated by shooting above the head of the crowd of protesters.
The sporadic gunshots and gun attack from the various sides of the secretariat however caused pandemonium among party faithful .
Speaking on the development, a member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Isreal Sunny-Igoli, expressed concern over the development and accused the expelled Chairman, Chief Tiwei Orunimighe, and ex-militant leader, General Africa Ukpariasa, of being responsible for the attack.
According to him, “the APC members cannot be intimidated in Bayelsa State. We know and we believe that the party is on the part of rebuilding and enthronement of peace within its fold. The sponsors of the attack will be brought to book.”
The State leader of the party and former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, who arrived the venue at about 12pm after normalcy has been restored, told the crowd of supporters that the attack on the party secretariat is cowardly and wicked and he apologised to members of the party over the incident.
Sylva, also told the crowd of party leaders and faithful, including the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, his running mate during the last governorship election, Hon. Wilberforce Igiri, the former Acting Governor, [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"], that those involved in the attack and their sponsors are too small to scare the members of the APC in Bayelsa State, “the bad days of the party are over.”