Nigeria Police

Bayelsa State Police Command has deployed more personnel to Twon-Brass, an Island in Brass Local Government Area, to curtail the violence which claimed at least three persons, while several others were injured in a gunfight last week.

But while the security agencies battle to bring the situation under control, some stakeholders have continued to blame a lawmaker from the area, Mr. Israel Sunny-Goli, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, of being behind the crisis.

However, Sunny-Goli, who refuted the allegation, alleged that there was a ploy to intimidate the APC loyalists in the oil-rich council area, maintaining that he had never been involved in any form of violence.

The crisis started last week Monday when supporters of the APC and those of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were caught in a confrontation, resulting in the imposition of a dusk to dawn curfew in the area.

New state Commissioner of Police, Austin Iwar, while briefing journalists in Yenagoa at the weekend, said the police were treating the case in Twon-Brass as pure homicide.

Iwar, who also decorated 36 newly-promoted cops in the state, added that his men had arrested some suspects, stressing that investigation was continuing.

“In Twon Brass, we are dealing with a case of homicide. There was a crisis there and two people were killed. We have made some arrests and investigation is on-going. We have also sent a detachment of mobile police to the area to maintain peace and bring down tension.

“We have also improved our intelligence to fetch out those who perpetrated the crisis. We urge the community and vigilante groups to always give useful information to the police because crime prevention cannot be left in the hands of police alone.

“I have received adequate briefs on the security concerns of the state which are mainly socio-political misunderstandings as experienced in the recent clash in Brass Local Government Area.

“Other crimes such as cultism, armed robbery, rape, stealing among others will be decisively dealt with so that our community will be safer,” the new CP said.

Meanwhile, an aide to the Caretaker Chairman of the council, Mr. Victor Isaiah, who preferred anonymity, said the violence started when suspected armed cultists attempted to attack his boss.

“From the reports available to us, the plan was to assassinate the council boss before the approaching political season. The APC lawmaker (Sunny-Goli) is responsible for the crises in Twon Brass”, he said.

According to him, “There is this thug who died in the incident. He was reported to have led the breaking of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) cell in Yenagoa some months ago, an event that led to the dismissal of four SARS officers.

“Since then, this thug and other cultists were used by the APC member to terrorise innocent people in Brass Island and neighbouring communities.”

But Sunny-Goli, who is currently eyeing the House of Representatives seat in the area, in his response, denied the allegation, saying he did not win his election through the barrel of the gun.

He said the clash was part of a desperate script to wrest control of the Brass constituency from the party ahead of the 2019 elections.

“We have had many local government chairmen but the present caretaker chairman of the council was appointed by the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, with the mandate to chase away APC members,” he alleged.

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