All hell was let loose in Ekeremor today less than 24 hours to the rescheduled elections in certain constituencies in Bayelsa as suspected militants took over the community, unleashing barbaric violence on the former Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rt. Hon. Boyelayefa Debekeme right at the Governor’s Lodge after disarming the policeman on duty.
Eyewitness accounts recounted how the Chairman of Ekeremor local government, Hon. Billy Tobiye and the PDP ward agent, Tams Alari as well as other notable members of the PDP and traditional ruler of Ekeremor, HRH Agbodo Gbaseimo escaped what was a determined assault clearly aimed at undermining the elections by intimidating voters and thus thwarting the will of the people of Bayelsa.
The incident which happened less than 24 hours to the conduct of the supplementary election in Southern Ijaw local government area and 101 units in the state threw the entire community into pandemonium as the militant group which moved about in an assured fashion threatened to pull down the Lodge and other buildings belonging to PDP members in the State.
Brandishing dangerous weapons including guns, machetes and cudgels and clearly high on drug-infused adrenaline, the invaders unfazed by the presence of security operatives,descended on Rt. Hon. Debekeme and others with machetes and other weapons of war.
Debekeme received deep machete cuts on his head and other parts of his body, while Tams Alari and Billy Tobiye were beaten to stupor by the rampaging militants who claimed to be acting the script of their master.
The hapless policeman on duty was saved by soldiers who came to his rescue and recovered the arms from the hoodlums.
The recovered arms are still with the soldiers. As the assault proceeded, staff of the Governor’s Lodge scampered for safety and the militants took over the entire community.
As at the time of filing this report, Rt. Hon. Debekeme is receiving treatment at a hospital in Torugbene, while Alari and Tobiye are receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in Bomadi, Delta state.
In a related development, the Election DPO for Ekeremor is allegedly ordering and supervising the distribution of election materials in the absence of the PDP agents.
This development contravenes the 2010 Electoral Acts as amended.