There is growing tension in Ikebiri community, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, as armed thugs at the weekend attacked the community’s monarch, Chief Kingdom Orio, and many others over a leadership tussle in the community.
The thugs, numbering over 50, which sources said were allegedly hired by the chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC), invaded the palace during a peace meeting to resolve the dispute in the community’s youth leadership.
The incident, which occurred on Saturday, was said to have turned bloody when the suspected thugs invaded the peace meeting and beat up the traditional ruler to coma, inflicting injuries on those who attempted to resist the invasion.
A source told The Guardian that the attack almost got out of hand but for the quick intervention of military personnel, stationed at Ogbeinbiri oil station, who quelled the uprising.
A reliable source said the thugs invaded the Usaku Wari family meeting, and they were led by the CDC chairman of Ikebiri Kingdom who was opposed to the community’s decision last December.
The source said: “Yesterday, one Abiola Beredou, who was imposed on the kingdom by those who are claiming owners of the community went into the peaceful family meeting with armed thugs and beat up Chief Kingdom Orio who happens to be the family Chief of Usaku Wari in Tamakuno Compound.
“The said Abiola came into the meeting with more than 30 armed thugs to invade the meeting. It took the drastic efforts of the men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) to calm down the situation and restore peace.”
An indigene of Ikibiei community and owner of a social media outfit, Naijalive Television, Comrade Saint Meipano, who confirmed the development, condemned the action of the hired thugs and their sponsors. He said: “I totally condemn the invasion of the Usaku Wari family meeting yesterday morning by thugs.”