A communal clash between Akenfa and Agudama-Epie in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has left at least one person dead and another injured.
In the clash on Wednesday, 38-year-old Emomotimi Warri, an Ijaw man from Southern Ijaw, living in Agudama-Epie was murdered, while another Ijaw man, Miedibo Ekpuke, 33, was severely injured.
It was learnt that during the clash, youths from both communities engaged in a free-for-all, using machetes and other weapons.
A source, who preferred to be anonymous, said the clash arose from an unresolved land dispute between the Agudama-Epie and Akenfa communities.
The source said the land dispute between the two neighbouring communities had been on for long, noting that Governor Douye Diri recently had a reconciliation meeting with them.
He said the Wednesday’s clash was a bit complicated, alleging that the clash was hijacked by cult groups.
It was learnt that another thing that led to the clash was the arrest of the Agudama-Epie youths’ President, who is still held in detention.
Another community source, who also did not want to be mentioned, said the arrest and detention of the unnamed youths’ president was tied to the land matter, a situation that allegedly provoked community members, particularly the youths, to stage a protest that led to the communal clash.
He also said another trigger of the clash was the alleged attack on the Ijaw people living in Agudama by youths of Amanda.
“The Ijaw people living in Agudama-Epie are not happy that they have become target of attacks even when they are not indigenes of Agudama-Epie hence the clash on Wednesday,” the source claimed.
The Bayelsa State Police Command confirmed the incident on Thursday.
Spokesman for the command, Asinim Butswat, said during the communal clash, which occurred on Wednesday, one Emomotimi Warri was killed while Miedibo Ekpuke was injured.
He, however, said Ekpuke was responding to treatment at an undisclosed hospital in Yenagoa.
Butswat, a Superintendent of Police, stated, “The clash, from the brief I received, was as a result of land dispute between the Akenfa and Agudama-Epie communities, both in Yenagoa LGA.
“During the clash, one Emomotimi Warri was killed while Miedibo Ekpuke was injured. The injured was taken to the hospital, where he is responding to treatment.”
He said the command had deployed policemen to the area to restore peace.
Police arrest, parade 17 armed robbers, others in Bayelsa
The police in Bayelsa State have arrested 17 suspected criminals for various crimes ranging from armed robbery, unlawful possession of firearms and narcotics.
The suspects were paraded at the state police headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The command also said it recovered 14 locally-made pistols, one dummy gun, two shotguns, a Beratta pistol, live ammunition, five live cartridges, 20 bags of Indian hemp, a Toyota Sequoia car with number-plate UD 639 KJA and a tricycle.
Addressing journalists after the parade, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Nkereuwem Apkan, said the suspects were arrested while police operatives were conducting intelligence-driven raids on criminal flashpoints during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Akpan stated, “On May 9, 2020, Ebi Collins, Emmanuel Benson and Monday Nweke, all males, were arrested while robbing one Peter Ebikabowei at a Point of Sale (POS) stand opposite the Yenagoa Local Government Area secretariat.
“A police officer who was at the scene to withdraw money, suspected their movements and alerted passers-by, who assisted him in arresting the suspects.
“The sum of N222,000, two locally-made pistols and two expended cartridges were recovered from the suspects.
“On 26 April, 2020, one Mrs Eyi Timinepre, a female from Tungbabiri community in Sagbama LGA was robbed of the sum of N550,000, two Tecno phones valued at N84,000 in her apartment at a gun point by one Peremobowei Eyitimbia, 33, Johnson Etete, 22, and Prosper Awara, 20.
“The said suspects were arrested and the sum of N160,000 and one Tecno phone were recovered from Eyitimbia.”
He also said on May 5, some members of a vigilance group along INEC Street, Kpansia, suspected one Dominic Kingsley, searched him and recovered one locally-made pistol.
He said Kingsley confessed to be a member of Bobos cult group.
The police boss added, “On May 22, 2020, Safer Highway patrol team along the East-West Road by Zarama, stopped a Toyota Sequoia Jeep for a search, but the driver who wore a military uniform zoomed off.
“The team pursued the vehicle to the Glory Land Drive area of the East-West Road where the driver abandoned the vehicle and ran away. Upon search of the vehicle, the team discovered 20 bags loaded with weeds suspected to be Indian Hemp. Efforts have been intensified to identify the owner of the vehicle and arrest the suspect.
“On May 15, 2020, one Lucky Eniokon, 21, David Samuel, 22, and Gift, members of a three-man robbery gang entered a tricycle and threatened the driver to take them to INEC Road.
“Consequently, the armed robbers came out from the tricycle and started robbing customers and pedestrians at a POS stand. The tricycle zoomed off and alerted policemen who arrived at the scene and exchanged gunfires with the armed robbers.”
He said two of the armed robbers escaped with bullet wounds, while Eniokon was shot on the left knee and arrested.
He said a locally-made pistol and three cartridges were recovered from him.
The commissioner, who resumed office a few weeks ago, said the command had rejigged its security strategies to confront violent crimes in the state through focused and intelligence raids on flashpoints.