By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio
Two persons were Friday killed while several others were injured following the invasion of the secretariat of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State by some armed hired thugs to disrupt the inauguration of the new Acting Chairman of the party, Mr. Joseph Fafi.
One of the person killed was confirmed an APC member from Sagbama Local Government Area while the other was a hawker.
Both were hit by flying bullets during the exchange of gunfire between security operatives and the armed thugs.
Several others sustained injuries while trying to jump the barb wired fence of the secretariat during the moment of confusion that enveloped the area.
The carnival like mood at the complex was temporarily halted at about 10am when the armed thugs who disguised as party protesters beat the security mounted some distance away from the secretariat headed straight to the venue.
Attempt to stop the armed invaders from accessing the complex by security operatives following an alarm raised by some party members led to the fracas.
Sporadic gunshots rented the air with people running for cover.
Speaking on the development, the member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Isreal Sunny-Igoli, expressed concern and accused some expelled dissidents within the party as being responsible for the failed attack.
He said, “the APC members can not be intimidated in Bayelsa State. We know and we believe that the party is on the path 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 have been restored, told the crowd of supporters that the attack on the party secretariat is cowardly and wicked and apologized to members of the party over the incident.
He 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 state Acting Governor, Werinipre Seibarugu, that those involved in the attack and their sponsors are too small to scare the members of the APC in the state.
He added, “the bad days of the party are over.”
Meanwhile, Comrade Miriki Ebikibina, the Senior Special Assistant on Politics to Governor Seriake Dickson, has described the sporadic shootings by unknown armed men at the APC party secretariat despite heavy security presence as unfortunate, regrettable and totally unacceptable.
According to him,“the violence and the pandemonium caused is regrettable because it is coming a day after the meeting of the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo with the state Governors and security officers on hate speeches and security challenges faced by states. It is not only most unfortunate, regrettable and totally unaccepted but speaks volume of a party activities in the state”
“The APC activities in Bayelsa are characterized with violence, thereby threatening and heightened the relatively peace and calm, put in place by the State Government. The Acting President and the leadership of the APC, should call their party members to order and respect the right to peace and freedom of movement of the defenceless citizens of the state, who are going about their legitimate business”.