Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Cult-related killings in Yenagoa has risen to five heightening apprehension among residents of the Bayelsa State capital.
In the past two weeks there has been a battle for supremacy between two cults, the Icelanders and the Greenlanders, leading to two addition casualties on Monday.
The Bayelsa State Governor Henry Seriake Dickson had recently reiterated his administration’s zero-tolerance for crime and criminality, charging security agencies to clamp down on criminal elements in the state.
Dickson had even accused politicians, especially of the All Progressive Congress (APC), of sponsoring crime in the state.
According to investigations on Monday, a suspected member of one of the notorious gangs was shot dead at the area known as “South-South” in Kpansia, while an innocent passenger in a commercial tricycle was shot dead.
Further investigations revealed that the continued power outage in the state due to the vandalism of the power plant in Ahoada, Rivers State, has given a field day to armed gangs without resistance from police.
An Environmentalist and State Coordinator of the Environmental Right Action/Friends of the Earth, Morris Alagoa, lamented what he called the precarious security situation in the south-south state.
“How can we sleep with one eye open? How one should be scared to walk freely on the road or board a tricycle because he/she is mindful of being robbed or killed. How should we refuse to visit our communities and decide to bury our loved ones in the cities because of sea pirates? These anomalies are actually revealing how bad the security situation is in the state,” he said.
The Acting Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Mr. Joseph Fafi called on the PDP-led State Government to deal decisively with criminal elements.
“We need to see a renewed commitment in this regard. Compared to other state capitals, Yenagoa is a small city that with enough political will and strategy issues of insecurity and lawless should be nipped in the bud.”