By Emem Idio
YENAGOA—RESIDENTS of Amatu II community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State yesterday fled the community following the clash which marred the election of members of the Community Trust of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.
The leadership tussle which reportedly turned violent is between Amatu II and Iduwini communities.
It was gathered that trouble started when some armed thugs allegedly imported by one of the contending communities invaded the venue of the election and started inflicting machete cuts on the community people who had assembled for the exercise, forcing the residents to run for safety with some fleeing into the forest for refuge.
It was learned that the armed thugs began the attack on the community indigenes when it became obvious that the handpicked candidate of one of the contending communities were going to lose the election.
The community has now been deserted as residents particularly women and children have fled the community to seek refuge in the forest.
A community leader, Chief Paul Oweipade, who confirmed the incident, said: “It is unfortunate that what was supposed to be a peaceful election turned bloody because certain highly placed people in government from the community wanted to impose their candidates on the people by intimidating them with armed thugs who unleashed mayhem on our people.
“As we speak, our women, children and youths have fled the community and are hiding in the forest because of the violence perpetrated by the thugs. We are therefore, calling on the Bayelsa State Government to come to our aid and intervene before the situation degenerates into full blown communal crisis.”