At least one person was thought to have been killed, while many others were injured, on Friday, following an eruption of violence at the Bayelsa State Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Yenagoa. Violence broke out when loyalists of suspended state Chairman of the party, Mr. Tiwei Orunimighe, attempted to disrupt the inauguration of an Acting Chairman and an Executive Council.
The attack began while party members were waiting for the arrival of Mr. Timipre Sylva, a former governor, and leader of the party in the state. It could not be immediately ascertained whether or not the deceased was an APC member. Many said he was a hawker and was hit by a stray bullet during a gun duel between security personnel and Mr. Orunmighe’s supporters, who arrived the party secretariat wielding weapons and placards and protesting the suspension.
The gun duel provoked a stampede, which resulted in injuries to five other party members, who were affected by the stampede caused by security officers shooting into the air following a shot said to have been fired by an ex-militant.
The shooting also attracted the intervention of a detachment of soldiers, who were able to prevent the blacked out bus used by the suspected party thugs from leaving the scene of the violence. The bus was parked along Bay Bridge Road in Yenagoa.
Speaking on the development, Mr. Israel Sunny-Igoli, a member of the state House of Assembly, blamed the violence on Mr.Orunimighe and ex-militant, General Africa Ukpariasa.
Mr. Sunny-Igoli said APC members in Bayelsa State will challenge any intimidation. He added that the party is in the process of restoring peace within its fold, saying the sponsors of the attack will be brought to book.