2nd August, 2010
The Joint Military Task has temporarily relaxed the security beefed up in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital last week after armed gangs nearly overran the city.
P.M.NEWS gathered this morning that JTF,Â with headquarters in Yenagoa, South-South Nigeria, withdrew the armoured personnel carriers deployed to strategic road junctions to forestall breach of the peace.
About three weeks ago, gunmen attacked the private residence of the former Deputy Governor Peremebowei Ebebi, destroyed some of his properties and shot the legs of one of his guards.
When P.M.NEWS contacted Ebebi over the attack on his residence, he responded in a terse prayerful SMS: â€œGod Bless the attackers and their sponsors.May he give them more strength to carry out more attacks as they approach their waterloo.â€
The security guard of the governorâ€™s Senior Special Assistant on Youths and Conflicts Resolution, Michael Wenibowei, was killed last week in an attack on his residence in Yenagoa.
In another development, unknown gunmen at the weekend attackedÂ Epoama, the home town of Governor Timipre Sylva, in Brass Local Government AreaÂ of the state. Even though no life was lost, valuable properties were destroyed, while an 83-year-old retired military officer was beaten to a pulp.
Suspected gunmen, numbering over 18, arrived at the coastal community in two speedboats and unleashed terror.
People of the community have paid solidarity visits to the governor, assuring him of their support.
However, Governor Sylva has reiterated his commitment to the social and economic development of the state. He also informedÂ members of the visiting community of the release of N5 billion for the commencement of work on Nembe/Brass road project.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Nath Egba in his reaction to the attacks said the violent actions in the state might be a coordinated effort by some people to disrupt the existing peace in the state and embarrass the governor.
Though the security agencies have redoubled their efforts at bringing the culprits to book, he assured the people of their safety.
He said:Â â€œIt is obvious that it may be part of a coordinated attack to make Bayelsa environment unsafe. The state government has enjoyed peace because the state governor has invested much in sustenance of peace and development.â€
â€”Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt