Adetutu Folasade-Koyi, Abuja
Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson, has alleged that three days to the November 16 governorship election, armed militia killed 22 at a rally in Nembe Local Government Area of the state.
Dickson disclosed this at an interactive session with editors, in Abuja, yesterday.
He also said already, a panel of inquiry has been set up; to unravel and identify those who were killed at the rally.
Dickson said: “There was no election in Nembe, it was a massacre. In Nembe, where, for the first time, a campaign rally was attacked, the territory claimed by hoodlums and, as we speak, two communities are still under siege of armed militia men, protected by security agencies. They shot at defenceless people who attended the rally; three days to the election.
“I’ve just set up a panel to unravel the actual number of those who died because the number of those injured, who are getting treatment in various hospitals, are 93.
“What took place in Nembe was massacre. The number of deaths, compiled so far, are 12
“Everyone had gone on campaigns, peacefully. I was to have attended that rally myself but was attending to state issues, only to receive calls that there were shootings at the rally.
“The violence meted on citizens in Nembe, we’ve not heard the last of it.
“There are reports that, to cover the number of the dead, they beheaded them, tore open their bellies and threw them into the water; so that they will not float.
“When you do that, a human corpse sinks. It meant that those who perpetrated that act were experts in killing. They butchered innocent Nigerians.
“From witness reports, which I’ve not told the state, because, in the end, they are human beings that are involved, I’m told, are close to 10.
“These were corpses seen in that state. When the shooting and massacre started, everybody in that community simply ran.
“The communities, as I speak, is still under siege. It is been like that, for months. The militia are still there. What do you want me to do? To raise my militia to counter them? Is that what our country has turned to? The militia men are still in that community…”
On the election in Nembe, Dickson alleged the materials were hijacked and numbers simply allotted to political parties.
“When Independent National Electoral Commission got to the community to conduct election, the militia men took control, sat down and wrote figures; writing 80,000. Those were the numbers they gave out.
“Nigerians need to know that there was no election in Nembe. And, you want to know why they drove people away, and held some people hostage? Because, they know once you say ‘one man, one vote, people will vote for us; my party, my candidate will sweep the polls…”