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Bayelsa: Gunmen invade ex-militant leader’s community, torch over 20 houses

Unidentified gunmen have invaded Peremabiri community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, burning down over 20 houses.

The gunmen, who were said to have invaded the community in about 50 speedboats on Sunday, were allegedly on a mission to take over the control of the community from an ex-militant leader, Paul Eris, popularly known as Ogunboss.

Community sources alleged that the gunmen chased out community members suspected to be loyal to Ogunboss and took over control of the town.

A community source, who spoke in confidence, said “as I speak with you many people are still hiding in the bush and many houses have been burnt down.

“The gunmen came in over 50 speedboats, shooting indiscriminately and gained entrance into the community. People had no other option but to run into the bush and forest for safety.

“We learnt that the gunmen have vowed to remain in the community and ensure that Ogunboss and his followers never return there.

“I was told that the Christmas day attack on Ogunboss’ house was to drive him out of the town. And today’s attack is aimed at taking total control of the community.”
As of the time of filing this report, it is not yet clear whether lives were lost during the attack.

It was, however, gathered that scores of armed men still laid seige to the community, occupying strategic locations in combat readiness.

The Bayelsa State government has yet to make a statement on the invasion.
Also, spokesman for the state Police Command, Asinim Butswat, promised to get back to our correspondent after getting details from the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area.

Recall that Peremabiri community has always been embroiled in one crisis or the other in the past over control of oil and gas proceeds from oil majors operating in the area.


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