The sleepy community of Agbere in Sagbama local government Area of Bayelsa state was on Tuesday devastated as twelve persons including a police man were killed in a bloody chieftaincy tussle among youths of the community.
The community serve as host to major oil exploration companies, the Nigerian Agip company (ENI) and the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
While the youths were killed during an open battle fought with guns and other dangerous weapons, the Policeman was killed during an invasion launched on the existing Police Post in the community.
Our correspondent gathered that the cold war existing between the youths loyal to the Paramount Ruler of the community degenerated into full scale crisis following the report of the Commission set up by the Local Government council on the issue of who to emerge the paramount permanent ruler of the community.
The report, according to sources, recommended that the Acting Paramount Ruler be made a permanent Ruler and such recommendation provoked a section of the community and they went on rampage.
It was further gathered that following the sack of the Former Traditional ruler, Chief Aziza Ekade by the Chief Timipre Sylva Administration for alleged violation of existing chieftaincy laws and the emergence of Chief Victor Alali as acting paramount ruler, the peace in the community became fragile.
Community sources confirmed that the home of the Acting Paramount ruler has been set ablaze by rampaging youths and other palatial homes of prominent indigenes touched.
Already, the State commissioner of Police, Mike Omieri has been to the troubled community with heavy deployment of armed Mobile Policemen and deployment of men of the Joint Military Task Force code named Operation Pulo Shield.
When contacted, the chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Daniel Markson-Iworiso said though the situation has been brought under control, the state government will not condone such acts of lawlessness and criminality, “anybody indicted over the crisis will be made to face the full weight of law and be prosecuted. We hereby warn any aggrieved section of the society to pursue a legitimate means of resolving conflict and channel grievances through the proper channel.”
Also, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Fidelis Odunna confirmed the development and said the actual number of those killed and houses razed are yet to be ascertained.