APC protests killing of members in Bayelsa, demands police protection

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa on Monday staged a protest over alleged killing of its members ahead the general elections.

Former governor and leader of APC in Bayelsa, Chief Timipre Sylva and Minister of State for Agric, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri led the protest to the police command headquarters in Yenagoa.

Sylva, while addressing thousands of party followers who marched from the party secretariat to the police headquarters, described the killing of an APC member at a rally in Sagbama as unacceptable.

He said campaign activities of the party had been riddled with several attacks from the rival political parties, while their perpetrators had not been brought to book.

“We have been watching the scenario where members of our party are being attacked while we are canvassing for votes.

“Two of them were killed recently in Nembe and we reported the incidents, but the police are not doing enough.

“We are here to send a strong message to the police high command and the Inspector-General of Police that the killing of our members in Bayelsa is not acceptable.

“On Saturday, one of our members who was attacked during a rally in Sagbama died.

“We are here today to register our displeasure and demand that just as the police are providing security for those in PDP, they should protect us also.

“We demand that the police should be fair in their duties to avoid a situation where those denied security would be compelled to seek self help,” Sylva said.

Also speaking, Lokpobiri urged the police to be thorough in investigating cases reported by the party, as the party faithful demanded justice.

He said that the APC in Bayelsa had been conducting its campaign across the state in a peaceful manner.

The minister added that as a law-abiding organisation, the party leaders had been urging members to exercise restraints and report issues of violence to law enforcement agencies.

Responding, Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa Mr Aminu Saleh dismissed the allegations that the command was biased.

“The Nigerian Police is a federal institution and the command under my watch in Bayelsa is poised to be fair to all in the discharge of our duty.

“I was aware of the allegations and counter-allegations even before my deployment.

“We shall look into the cases even the ones reported before my arrival.

“The problem we have is that while a case is being investigated, it is not strategic to keep it in public domain, but it does not mean that we are not working.

“On the killing of Saturday, we are already working on it and arrests have been made and I hereby assure you that once we conclude our investigations, we shall brief the general public about it.

“It is our duty to provide security cover to all political parties and the presence of our men deployed to Sagbama prevented the breakdown of law and order,” Saleh said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the command spokesman, DSP Asinim Butswat; confirmed death of one person, two injured at the APAC rally in Sagbama on Saturday.

Butswat had told NAN that “One suspect, Mr Isaac Abrowei, 42, a resident at Tungbabiri has been arrested.

“The thugs who masterminded the act and their alleged sponsor have been identified and the police have launched a manhunt to arrest them,” (NAN)

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