ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Unidentified gunmen have killed Chief Francis Kolibo, the traditional ruler of Ikarama community and Mr Oburu Samuel, Chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC) of the same community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The murder of Kolibo and Samuel has brought the number of deaths in the state to no fewer than 10 persons in two separate incidents within three days.
Community sources claimed the monarch and the CDC chairman were initially abducted on Sunday and by Monday, news filtered into the community that they had been murdered.
It was learnt that the murder of Kolibo and Samuel was not unconnected with alleged chieftaincy dispute in the community.
It was also learnt that the monarch allegedly stood against illegal oil bunkering in the area, a development that allegedly pitted him against some powerful persons in the area.
Spokesman for Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, a Superintendent of Police, confirmed the murder of the two community leaders.
Butswat said: “Chief Francis Kolibo and Oburu Samuel were killed by suspected gunmen at Ikarama community, Yenagoa LGA.
“The circumstances surrounding the incidents are still sketchy. Investigation has commenced.”
In another incident on Wednesday, no fewer than eight persons reportedly died in another boat accident in the state.
The accident reportedly occurred at Oyoma, near Oporoma, the headquarters of the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
The tragedy involved two boats, a local boat and a speedboat. One was said to have rammed into the other apparently due to bad weather and poor visibility.
The accident occurred barely five days after a similar accident, which claimed six lives, happened between Otuan and Ayama communities of the same Southern Ijaw LGA last Saturday.
Among the deceased six were a female member of the National Youth Service Corps; a mother and her two toddlers; a pregnant woman and a 70-year-old man..
The corpses of the NYSC member and the septuagenarian as well as two others had been recovered while two bodies had not been found yet.
The state chairman of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Ipigansi Ogoniba, who confirmed yesterday’s accident, said that it involved a local boat and a speedboat.
He said: “Yes, we have been there (at the scene of accident). It occurred at Oyoma near Oporoma and eight people died. One of the boats, the local boat, stopped and the other one rammed into it.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Asinim Butswat, also confirmed the Wednesday incident, saying that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the area confirmed the tragedy.