Tension in Bayelsa community over invasion by unidentified policemen

Collage Maker 07 Nov 2022 08.44 AM

There is palpable tension in Opu-Nembe in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State following the invasion of the community by unidentified gunmen reportedly dressed in police and military uniforms.

DAILY POST learnt that the gunmen, who arrived in the community at 7 pm on Saturday in 24 Toyota Hilux vehicles and six coaster buses, threw the residents into pandemonium.

A community source told DAILY POST that the gunmen claimed to be members of the SWAT team from Police Headquarters in Abuja and were reportedly in Opu-Nembe to effect the arrest of some boys who had allegedly defied invitation over the lingering crisis in the community.

DAILY POST learnt that the invading policemen were held for hours at the entrance of the community by angry, naked women, while a youth, reportedly a deaf-mute, was shot in the leg.

Despite the delay from the protesting women of the community, the armed policemen gained entrance into the community but could not arrest anyone as the community had been deserted.

But the Bayelsa State Police Command, in a statement through its Public Relations Officer, SP Asinim Butswat, said: “Contrary to the misleading information being circulated on social media platforms, armed thugs dressed in police uniforms invaded the Nembe Bassambiri community on August 12, 2023.

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“The Bayelsa State Police Command wishes to state categorically that a detachment of Mobile Policemen (PMF) and SWAT operatives from Force Headquarters, Abuja, carried out a sting operation in Nembe Bassambiri on August 12, 2023, [and] some arms and ammunition were recovered and suspects were arrested.”

The Youths President of Opu Nembe Kingdom, Ayerite Moses, while confirming the development, said the invasion of the community was carried out by gunmen using the utility vehicles of a popular surveillance contractor from the community, and were given protective cover by some members of SWAT from Abuja.

Moses also claimed that five youths from the community have gone missing after the invasion, while three were arrested by the unidentified gunmen. He insisted that the quick report to the military base in Nembe led one Major Kanu to intervene on Saturday night and discuss with the armed officers, which led to a ceasefire.

DAILY POST also learnt that a few kilometres from Nembe, operatives of the joint military task force, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), arrested some youths with guns at a checkpoint in Otakeme community of Ogbia Local Government Area.

Similarly, at least one policeman and one Civil Defence officer were last night arrested along with armed youths at Otakeme community in Ogbia LGA while on their way to Opu-Nembe.

Also arrested were two security personnel who were believed to be on a special assignment to escort the gunmen to invade Opu-Nembe and are now being detained at the Sector 2 Command of the JTF alongside the armed youths.

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