By Emem Idio – Yenagoa
Igbomoturu Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State weekend protested the alleged killing of a father of five by surveillance security operatives working for a multinational oil company.
It was gathered that the deceased identified as John Adolphus, was shot dead when operatives of a surveillance security company allegedly attacked a passenger boat in Igbomoturu Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
According to an eye witness, two others are still reportedly missing while three persons sustained severe injuries during the attack which occurred around 9 pm on Friday.
It was gathered that the deceased and one other injured victim of the attack were businessmen who were going to a neighbouring community to sell their foodstuffs.
A leader in the community and Community Development Committee, CDC, chairman of Igbomoturu Community, Mr Pronto Justice who led the peaceful protest weekend, while condemning the killing of their indigene, called on the security agencies and state government to bring the perpetrators to book.
Accordingly to the community leader, rescue efforts by the community to find the other missing victims or their whereabouts have not yielded fruits.
The community leader who fingered a surveillance security firm belonging to a popular former governorship candidate in the state as the perpetrators of the attack, decried the unwholesome activities of the surveillance security company operating in the area, adding that indigenes of the community have been repeatedly attacked in recent times with some losing their lives.
He said: “Our people have been victims of attacks on a number of occasions to this oil companies surveillance security operatives. We have written to the three arms of governments and the oil companies but nothing has been done and if these dastardly acts continue we might be forced to take the laws into our own hands.
“We want the communities to be given the pipelines surveillance contracts for peace to reign because we are capable and convinced that we can secure the pipelines, rather than giving to those who are killing and oppressing us.”
The boat driver, a 65-year-old man identified as Kennedy Ibomowei, said he was paid by the traders to take them to the neighbouring community to sell their goods before they were attacked close to Okilo Creek.
He said: “I am a boat driver, so Yesterday (Friday) two youngmen met me and told me to take them to the next community to sell their water snails and after we agreed on the fare, we began the journey and on our way I picked up other passengers. When we got to a place close to Okilo Creek we saw a gunboat and I cleared for them to pass.
“Before we realized, the gunboat approached us and men dressed in army fatigues came to us and started shouting, “who are these people, what type of boat is this?” and immediately began to shoot at us, I shouted that we are not armed, some of the passengers jumped inside the river, I say I will not jump because of my age and that I have committed no offence, they ordered me to lie down and ordered that I surrender my fuel.
“They took all the foodstuffs together with some cash belonging to my passengers and left just like that. It was after they left that we realised that we have lost one person while two persons are still missing while the rest of came back with severe injuries.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, of the State Police Command, SP Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the incident, did not give further details but however clarified that the security operatives involved in the attack were not men of the Nigeria police force.