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Bayelsa violence: Arrest, probe Lokpobiri, PDP tells Buhari

The People’s Democratic Party, Bayelsa State Chapter has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to cause the investigation of Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri over the recent security crisis in Bayelsa.

It would be recalled that Governor of the state, Seriake Dickson had alleged that Lokpobiri was behind the criminal activities of a militant, Oyawerikumor Peregbabofa, also known as Gen. Karowei who was alleged to have masterminded the killing of five soldiers at Toru Ndoro in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa.

A statement issued on Thursday by the state chairman, Chief Moses Cleopas, said the party observed with dismay some recent activities of Lokpobiri, in Bayelsa State and some Riverine communities in the neighboring Delta.

“We are disturbed that Lokpobiri has remained true to himself as he continues to maintain a sordid reputation that seems inseparably linked to the horrors of violence in Bayelsa State.

“Only recently, the Governor òf Bayelsa State, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, alerted the President, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the security community and indeed Nigerians to the dangerous activities of Lopkobiri and other APC chieftains, which without doubt are inimical to peace, security and development of our dear state.

“Ordinarily, Nigerians who are agitated and troubled by the grave allegation would have expected a reassuring response from somebody of the status of a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, Lokpobiri’s response has only deepened the worry about the spectre of violence being masterminded by him and his cohorts in Bayelsa”, the statement stated.

According to the PDP Chairman, Lokpobiri’s defence over the allegations levelled against him by Governor Dickson at best, “cuts the image of a guilty man in desperation to reconcile contradictions with a contrived appearance of innocence”

He said instead of proving his innocence, the Minister rather launched into casting aspersions on the state government, saying it has not developed the state.

“In his pitiable response to the governor’s claim that he was behind the heinous activities of a deadly militant, Kareowei, who was fingered for perpetrating heinous activities at the waterways of Ekeremor and some communities Delta State, Lokpobiri denied ever meeting him.

“Obviously prodded by his stained conscience, Lokpobiri lied that the militant leader (Kareowei), even threatened him at Ekeremor by shooting into the river when he (Lokpobiri) visited home in January.

“This explanation and the contradiction in Lokpobiri’s defence only strengthen the suspicion of complicity in acts of destabilization against the state.

Read Also: Dickson’s claim on Bayelsa killings, cheap blackmail – Lokpobiri

“Rather than face the allegation against him and his failure to exploit the opportunity of his position to improve the lot of Bayelsans, Lokpobiri went further to cast aspersions on the Government where he claimed that efforts had not been made to develop the state”

The PDP however said that the resources of Bayelsa have not been better managed any time than under the Dickson administration and called the attention of Lokpobiri to the various projects the administration has executed.

The party also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest Lokpobiri and act on information at their disposal about his complicity in arming criminal elements in Bayelsa.

“The President and those in charge of security of this nation should not ignore the alarm raised by the governor about the dangerous activities of the Minister. Not to do so because of political affiliation would be a deliberate disservice to our people”, the party insisted.

Chris Eze, Yenagoa

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