From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Aftermath a bloody clash between factions of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP),which left one car burnt and several people injured, the Bayelsa State Police Command has weighed in restating ban on unlawful and authorised gathering in the state.
Factions of the PDP in the state belonging to Commissioner for Education, Hon Gentle Emelah and his colleague Commissioner for Health, Dr Pabara Newton Igwele on one hand and the lawmaker representing Yenagoa constituency 1, Hon Oforji Oboku on the other hand.
The crisis was triggered by speculations that Emelah and Igwele were taking defectors to Governor Douye Diri to demonstrate their acceptance as leaders of the party in Yenagoa Local Government which may put either of them at a pole position to clinch the House of Representatives ticket ahead the 2023 elections.
Suspected loyalists of Oboku believed to be opposed to Emelah and Igwele presenting the defectors were said to have unleashed violence.
The Police statement was issued after the Commissioner of Police, Ben Nebolisa Okolo met with affected parties and warned that the Command would not tolerate any type of political violence in the state.
SP Asinim Butswat in a statement titled: ‘Ban on unauthorised and unlawful gathering’ stated that ban on campaign has not been lifted.
“The Bayelsa State Police Command wishes to re-echo an earlier warning concerning unauthorised and unlawful gathering of persons or group of persons, without a duly approved Police permit. This reminder has became imperative against the backdrop of an ugly development, where suspected political thugs clashed at Kpansia community on 20th January 2022, leading to burning of a car and injuries on some persons.
“The command hereby wishes to state categorically, that it will not condone any act(s) of illegality by any person or group of persons in the guise of protest or campaign, as the ban on rally, campaign and protest has not been lifted yet.
“The Command is soliciting the co-operation and understanding of political party faithful and members of the public to comply with this order, as it is aimed at ensuring public safety in Bayelsa State.”