By Lindsay Barrett
The breakdown of law and order and outburst of violence in some communities of Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has been provoked by the conduct of some young men who pledged loyalty to leaders of the APC from the area during the last gubernatorial elections, according to Hon. Fred Agbedi, the Member of the House of Representatives for the constituency.
Hon. Agbedi explained that certain powerful political leaders from the area, who had left the PDP and joined the APC, had armed a group of young men led by one “Kariowei” operating out of neighbouring Delta State.
It has since been reported that this suspect has surrendered to the army unit in the area.
According to Hon. Agbedi after the APC lost the election it was difficult for the arms to be recovered from the young men.
“Our state Government reported the matter to the security authorities but hardly anything has been done to halt their attacks”, he said.
]“Instead their sponsors have been visiting the area with state protection and promising those of us who resist the misconduct of their followers that we will be dealt with summarily.”
Hon. Agbedi related that during the New Year holidays the armed men harassed several communities in the LGA and were even reported to have paid a visit to one of their suspected sponsors, a Federal appointee.
“I was also confronted by them on the river as I was returning to the state capital but we refused to stop and outran their boats”, Hon. Agbedi narrated.
He said that the decision to send in military units to contain the situation in the remote riverine LGA was prompted by an upsurge of attacks on innocent citizens along the waterways during the holidays.
“We commend the army and police for their bravery in containing the attacks and offer out sincere condolences to the families of those unfortunate military personnel who have lost their lives while protecting our communities”, Hon. Agbedi declared. According to him those who sponsored the armed youth must be held accountable for the systematic violence unleashed in Ekeremor LGA by their supporters whether they are loyalists of the ruling APC or not.