No fewer than seven persons were on Wednesday night shot dead in Oluasiri community of Nembe-Bassambiri in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State during a gun battle among rival armed groups in the area.
It was learnt that the incident wasn’t unconnected with the battle over alleged control of illegal bunkering and kidnapping businesses.
The clash occurred at Isiah-Ama area of Oluasiri community, allegedly known for hosting armed groups involved in illegal kidnapping and ownership of bunkering camps in Bayelsa State.
According to Daily Post the bloody rivalry battle was ignited among three armed gangs when one of the gangs was accused of allegedly withholding high calibre guns being used by all the gangs during illegal operations on the high sea.
A community source said “The three gangs involved are located in Izakiri, Ben-Ama and Isiah-Ama communities. These areas, according to the source, have become a den for armed militias operating along the borders of Bayelsa and Rivers State.
Both armed groups from Ben-Ama and Isiah-Ama camps suffered a higher casualty in the bloody battle that lasted over 10 hours.
”We also know that the affected gangs who lost foot soldiers have started burying their dead because the community does not allow fresh dead bodies kept in the community. Among the dead were two boys from a single parent.
“Every security agency is aware of the illegal activities of these boys. The umbrella body of Ijaw Youths are aware and have kept quiet. The Oluasiri, as a community, have cried severally over the activities of these people. But no action”.
The Paramount Ruler of Isiah-Ama, HRH. Iyerite Chiefson Awululu, who spoke with DAILY POST in a phone conversation on Thursday, confirmed that the gun battle was among militant factions in the area, ”the gun battle lasted for hours. And they have suffered some deaths. Seven or eight persons died in the clash.
“From reports reaching me from my subjects, no innocent indigene was killed in the battle. And we have reported to the Local Government Chairman. The indigenes of the community had to cry out to avoid being hit by stray bullets.”
The Chairman of the Nembe Local Government Area, Hon. Alalibo West said the incident has been reported to the relevant security agencies including the State Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri.
“We have reported to the relevant authorities and have requested for a gunboat patrol to calm the situation. And I learnt the situation is now under control.”