Friday, 12 May 2017
Igbo Traders Shut Down Shops In Bayelsa Over Attacks By Aggrieved Youths
Shops and other business premises belonging to Igbo traders at Biogbolo, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, have remained shut following attacks on traders by aggrieved youths from the area.
Investigations, Thursday, revealed that all the shops at Customs Road and Green Villa extending to the Yenagoa-Mbiama Road could not open for business out of fears that the youths were regrouping for fresh attacks.
The attackers have been protesting an alleged ritual killing of 17-year-old Faith Omosovu Pius by a 31-year-old non-indigene identified as Tochukwu at the New Wapo Hotel located in the area.
Many traders have fallen victims of the attacks with their shops and business premises shattered and burnt by the youths.
The police and the army have been patrolling the affected areas to stop further damage and restore the peace in the area.
Government authorities and security agents were said to have held meetings with traditional rulers and community leaders to douse tension and prevent the situation from snowballing into full-blown inter-tribal war.
The authorities were said to be prevailing on the angry indigenes to stop spreading hate speeches against non-indigenes especially Igbo traders because of the misdeeds an individual.
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, while condemning the killing, appealed to the indigenes to stop attacking innocent people.
The Acting Chairman, IYC Central Zone, Mr. Amiebi Turner, said instead of assaulting innocent non-indigenes, the aggrieved persons should channel their energy towards finding and bringing the culprit to book.
Turner said: “The IYC central zone wishes to condemn in totality the murder of a promising Ijaw daughter, while we also advise our youths to remain calm, peaceful and avoid acts that may disrupt the existing peace in the state.
“We understand the pains, we feel the rage, but we advise against taking laws into your hands. As we push for moves aimed at apprehending the culprit and to restore order.
“Since the incident, we have engaged security agencies to intensify hunt of the suspected murderer of our beloveth daughter, which they have promised to do, on our path, we owe the duty to provide useful informations.
“The entire Ijaw youths in Central zone wishes to commiserate with the bereaved family and the entire Biogbolo – Epie community in the state capital, on this sad and painful loss, we pray God to give you all the fortitude to bear this great loss.
“We also use this opportunity to advise security agencies to stop the chase and assault on youths of Biogbolo community, so as not to aggravate the situation but to rather employ diplomatic measures that will be void of martial law.
“We condemn this dastardly and criminal act in very strong terms, but we must allow security agencies do their work to unravel the mystery behind this unjust killing. We also advise residents in the area to remain peace abiding and not see it as an ethnic or tribal issue, for crime is crime”.
Turner commended the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Yenagoa, Mr. Oboku Oforji, for his timely intervention and advised traders and residents to go about their normal activities.
Oboku also called on the people of Biogbolo-Epie community to be peaceful and law abiding insisting that efforts were ongoing to resolve the killing.
Oboku, who spoke in after a meeting involving him, the police and the community chiefs at Biogbolo Town Hall, described the incident as “regrettable”.
He said that a committee was set up to handle the matter with a view to bringing justice to the grieving family and the community.
“We are working very hard, and we are gathering more information. What we want to do is to see that justice is done by apprehending the culprit.
“The committee has swung into action, and has started getting results only for violence to break out again today”, he said.
But the council boss appealed to the Igbo traders in the community to stay away in the meantime, adding that “it will not be long we will ask them to return and start their normal businesses.”
“They (the Igbo traders) are aware that somebody died and it’s painful, and that is the reason why the shops should temporarily close down, and hopefully we will call them to return to their shops”, he said.