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Okoli: Police Giving Cover To ‘Politically-Motivated’ Attackers of Opu-Nembe Kingdom

Meanwhile human rights activist Liborous Oshoma has called for IGP and Timpreye Silva to come clean on involvement in attacks.

Chief Ezekiel Teigbenyo Ikoli, Chairman, Opu-Nembe Kingdom Council of Chiefs and Barrister Liborous Oshoma, lawyer and human right activist analysed and revealed events that took place and led to the recent consecutive attacks on the opu-Nembe Bassambiri Kingdom of the Nembe Local Government Area of Bayalsa state.

The gunmen, who were said to have been  dressed in police uniforms and face masks, drove into the town in 24 Toyota Hilux cars and six coaster buses. This is the fourth shooting this year, and locals are now living in dread, not knowing when the next attack would occur. Deputy Governor of Bayalsa, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo  visited the community which had taken to the streets asking the Acting inspector General of Police to withdraw his men and allow the joint task force sent to the community to handle the situation as police officers have failed in handling the situation with suspicions of even heading the attacks.

In an ARISE NEWS interview on Tuesday, Chief Okoli affirmed that the attacks were most likely connected to the 2023 election as the community is one that was well known to be one of the communities to produce bulk votes that would determine the gubernatorial elections result. Despite the distress call from the community, about twenty persons including one Chief Monday-Degi came out to  commended the police handling of the situation.

“Everything happening in the  Opu-Nembe kingdom is politically motivated. The so-called concerned citizens, or whatever they call themselves,  twenty persons out out a hundred and sixty four chiefs. Twenty people who call themselves concerned citizens because they work for Timpreye Silva. And the police are also working for Timpeye Silva, I can categorically state that. Because what is happening right now in Nembe is the police are the ones doing the shooting while the supporters of Timpreye Silva are giving them back up and Identifying the people to be arrested and shot. That’s what’s happening in Opu-Nembe now. 

“This morning, there’s a fact that five 200 horsepower speedboats came with militants and these same people are the ones we have mentioned in our petitions. That they were the ones that carried out the 15th February attack. And then the police are giving them cover.“

Three people were  said to be injured and shot dead in the last attack. It was also revealed that both the alleged attackers and the police force were lodged in the same hotel. The attackers are believed to be under the command of one Kojo Sam, a militant in the community. 

“Let me clear one thing. After our petition, I personally led a delegation to meet with this IGP of police when he was the deputy. We met with him and gave him the history of the attacks. So there is nothing hidden from him. So I wonder why he’s acting this way now.”

The chieftain had stated that a petition was forwarded to both the present and previous president of Nigeria.

In the same interview, Human Right Activist, Barrister Liborous Oshoma stated that the police were now being used as a tool for destruction by the government.

“Everywhere you turn in Nigeria, there’s a crisis and the police are constantly mentioned. I was happy when the new acting IG was appointed and said he would go after criminals but if this is how he is going after criminals then it’s very shameful.”

“Writing a petition to the police means that the Acting Inspector General is not capable and you need a higher  power to instruct him despite the fact that he is the IGP.”

“I’ve been petitioning that the IG and Timpreye Silva should come clean. Election is a do or die affair and shouldn’t be a time where you wage war on the community.”

Glamour Adah

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