Ex-militant leader, hoodlums attack, wound protesters in Bayelsa | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper f

Some hoodlums, led by an ex-militant leader, Tuesday, harassed and wounded protesters from different parts of Niger Delta region, who stormed Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, to protest the controversial allocation by the state government of 1,200 hectares of land to Fulani herdsmen for cattle grazing.

Though the state governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, had defended the allocation, Niger Delta campaigner, Ms AnnKio Briggs, who got to Tombia Junction, the take-off point of the protest in Yenagoa before 9.00 am, was addressing the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in the area and his men on the purpose of the protest, when thugs, who seemed to have official backing, pounced on her and others.

National presidents of Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, National Security Watch Organization of Nigeria, NSWON, Messrs. Austin Ozobo and Dickson Bekederemo, Comrade Harrison Kpikpi, Ojugo Christy, Preye Dressman and other leaders, who were at the venue, were also assaulted by the thugs in the presence of security agents.

It was learned that policemen and other security agencies, which were also there to abort the protest, fired teargas and shot indiscriminately into the air, forcing the protesters, who were not prepared to confront security agents, to vote with their legs.

Briggs, who spoke to Vanguard about one hour, 30 minutes after she was whisked away from the attackers, said: “It was quite a violent scene, I was addressing the Divisional Police Officer and some of his men the purpose of our protest, which is strictly on the allocation of 1,200 hectares of land to herdsmen when the thugs, who were lurking around pounced on us.”

“The police know them; they ripped my identity card from my body, forcefully took my phone and manhandled me, they attacked and wounded many of us, the security agents were there watching and did nothing. They only chose to fire teargas and shot indiscriminately into the air,” she said.

When Vanguard visited the area, battle-ready security operatives, backed by seven patrol vans and a military armoured personnel carrier, ‎were sighted at the Edepie roundabout, also known as Tombia roundabout.

An eyewitness said: “What happened is a slap on our democracy; people have the right to protest so long as they are peaceful in their conduct. The protesters were peaceful in their conduct and do not deserve what happened. It is a shame that the security men could not stop those hurling dangerous objects on the gathering.”

The Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI, in a statement, by Austion Ozobo, said: “It was sad and disgusting when thugs, police, army and Civil Defence Corps manhandled protesters, who assembled at Tombia Junction to express their disapproval over the allocation of 1,200 hectares of land to marauding herdsmen on February 14 in Bayelsa.” “The thugs assaulted Annkio Briggs, Barr Dickson Bekederemo, Comrade Harison Kpikpi, Ojugo Christy, Preye Dressman and others.

This was followed by continued shooting of over 100 gun shots and canisters of teargas by police officers to disrupt and dislodge the protesters. “The military stationed two armoured tanks at the Tonbia junction, the police and Civil Defence Corps equally drafted over 20 patrol vans to intimidate and beat up protesters in Bayelsa, as if they are fighting war.

“We are disappointed at Governor Seriake Dickson’s cruel action against fellow Ijaw people. This cannot happen in the north and southwest, Hausa man or Yoruba cannot do this to their people.

It is about a peaceful protest and the people do not deserve this kind of unholy treatment,” the group said. The group stated: “The right to protest is a civil right of Nigeria citizens. Dickson action is in human and repressive. Seeing what herdsmen are up to, no reasonable persons would welcome them to their domain.

It is a pity that Dickson is fighting to protect animal rights, instead of human rights. It is a pity that animal life has more value to Dickson than the rights and safety of Bayelsans.”

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  1. While other states are following Fayose's footsteps on anti grazing bills, this sellout is busy allocating hectares of lands to terrorists backed by rudderless militants of epicurean hedonism. This is how they betrayed Biafra.

  2. Bayelsans are destitute of agricultural farm lands to cultivate crops. I am a witness of how poor the people of the state are. Allow me to take you through it shortly, More than 90% of the state revenue is depended on the state allocation and there are no functional industries to boost employment in other sectors. More than 90% of her people are either civil servants who are owned more than six month salaries or petty food traders. More than 50% of the total area of the state is water and of the remaining 50% of land, Only 60% of it can be used for agriculture and is between January and August only because the flood will cover up the land from September to December. 20% of the remaining land is swampy and will need alot of sand-filling to build houses or do any agricultural business, even in the state capital, Yenagoa. Only 20% of the total land area in Bayelsa can be called dry land which is not affected by flood or heavy rain all through the year. Now let me shock you. The total land area of Bayelsa state is 21,110sqkm. 50% of that is water, meaning 10,550sqkm is gone. 60% of remaining 10,550sqkm arable land between January and August is 6,330sqkm. Now, remember 20% requires sand-filling before any infrastructural development and 20% of total dry land is 2,110sqkm (2,110,000,000sqm) only. The total population of Bayelsa is approximately 2.2 Million people. If we are to go by total sqm of dry land per person in the state, then 1 person per 959 sqm of total dry land. Now the state Government has given up 12,000sqm of dry land for Veracious Fulani Herdsmen, that means he has taken away about 13 persons' land from the choicest of all lands and forcefully allocated to strangers. Now here is the true state of things in the State. As we speak, there is no such kind of land at the behest of the smart average Bayelsan to do agriculture as more than 70% of her total population are below the poverty line. I have had the opportunity to go round the state and many of them especially the women are much willing to farm but the availability of arable land is a scarcityEven those who were fishers have given up fishing due to the pollution from oil spillages. I will advise the state government to rather give this 12,000 hectares to willing Bayelsans for agriculture instead of trying to play politics while Bayelsans are suffering and begging for land to plant crops. Charity begins at home. The Dickson government is clueless and looking for curry favour from the North which he will not get. Remember GEJ? He did thesame thing by trying to please the North but they spit rather on his face. Dickson is repeating thesame stupid thing. Please Bayelsans rise up from your slumber. One of these days, this dreaded Hausa/Fulani herdsmen will take possession of your land, expand on it and will begin to kill, maim and rape all your girls, kidnap and force them to islam and eventually marry them off right before your eyes and by then, it will be too late. Dickson is lighting a candle and placing it on a plastic stand, it will soon burn out the stand and set ablaze the whole house. Rise up people.

  3. You said you want one Nigeria, that is exactly what you get when you see evil and you refused to speak out. Upon members were shot and many of them were killed in a peaceful rally for Trump, all of you supported the murderous Nigeria security agents. You thought ipob will be the last victim.


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