Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State police command has declared dusk to dawn curfew in Bayelsa over the violent protests that greeted the Supreme Court decision to nullify the election of Chief David Lyon and his running mate, Senator Degi Biobarakuma Eremieyo of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The protesters mainly members of APC took to the streets and set bonfires to barricade major roads especially Melford Okilo road and the Tombia Roundabout.
In a press briefing after an emergency security meeting, the Commissioner of Police Uche Anozie said the curfew was necessary to curtail any security breach.
Earlier, there were protests in Yenagoa and some parts of the state over the Supreme Court ruling which nullified the election of Bayelsa governor-elect, Chief David Lyon and the deputy governor- elect, Senator Degi Biobarakuma Eremienyo.
But Governor Henry Seriake Dickson had appealed to the APC to accept the Supreme Court ruling in good faith and see it as a triumph of democracy.
The protesting APC members chanting “No Lyon, No Governor” had barricaded the major Tombia Roundabout with bonfire on Thursday night and continued till Friday morning when they took the protests to Melford Okilo road and Imgbi road where they set bonfire along the road forcing many businesses to shut down.
Some of the protesters invaded the Bayelsa State Judiciary Complex where they vandalised vehicles and offices.
One of workers who identified himself as Josiah who said he was lucky to escape with injuries, narrated that the protesters stormed the complex and started beating everybody.
“We were in the office when suddenly we heard some noise and before we realised what was happening protesters waving APC flags descended on staff, vandalised offices and the two vehicles parked in the complex. We had no option than to escape. I had to jump over the fence to escape.”
Shortly after news filtered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the People;s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Douye Diri the winner and issued him a certificate of return, the protests turned wild as protesters marched from Government House through Melford Okilo road destroying property.
Soldiers and armed policemen have been deployed to major streets to forestall a total breakdown of law and order.
Also sources said the house of the new governor-elect, Senator Douye Diri along Imgbi road was attacked by the protesters. The protesters were said to have invaded the house following the news that he had been presented with the certificate of return.