Blood, death as rampaging gunmen kill police, lawyer, send city residents scampering for safety

Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital was over the weekend stained with blood with the separate killings of a police sergeant, a lawyer and two other youths by gunmen suspected to be armed robbers and cultists in some part of the city.

The police sergeant who was reportedly attached to the joint military task force code named Operation Delta Safe, was gunned down at Otiotio area of the state capital on Friday during a gun battle between rival cult groups identified as Greenlanders and Icelanders.

The lawyer, identified as Barr. Abel Ozi. ,was shot dead on Thursday by gunmen, suspected to be armed robbers at the Opolo market area of Yenagoa and a sum of N1.9million stolen from him.

Also two others were killed in separate cult shootings at Kpasia and Gwegwe areas of the state capital.

It was gathered that apart from the killing of the policeman, whose name was kept under wraps, a suspected cultist was also killed in the battle.

The supremacy battle, which created tension in some parts of Yenagoa, the state capital, was reportedly caused by the killing of a leader of one of the cult groups, the Greenlanders.

The cult leader, nicknamed Arrow, was said to have been killed at Gwegwe area of Yenagoa by a rival cult group identified as the Icelanders.

His fellow cult members reportedly vowed to avenge his death, a situation that led to bloody clashes in some parts of the capital city.

Security sources said the police Sergeant was not on duty when he was killed at Otiotio junction in Yenagoa.

One of the sources, who spoke in confidence, however, said he was killed by a stray bullet fired by warring cultists.

“Following the death of Arrow, his members took over the streets of Kpansia, Otiotio and chasing their rival members. They were also raiding and shooting. Their actions created panic and made people to scamper for safety”, he said.

The source said the Sergeant only came to eat at a canteen located at the junction when he was hit by the bullet.

“He was immediately rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t survive it. He was confirmed dead on arrival at the hospital”, he said.

He added: “The police and other security agencies including the army are working to arrest the suspected cultists”.

For the lawyer, Abel Ozi, the gunmen reportedly trailed him from the bank where he had gone to withdraw some money. “He was double crossed at the Opolo area. And shot at when he refused to open the car. His driver was also shot.

“On hearing the shots, everyone in the area scampered for safety. After they took the money, they shot him at the abdomen. He died on arrival at the hospital.”

When contacted, the state police public relations officer (PPRO), Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the shooting of the lawyer, declined comment on the killing of the police Sergeant, saying he was yet to be briefed on the development.

 

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