The Bayelsa government on Saturday condemned the violence that resulted in loss of two lives and injury to nine persons at the Friday’s congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Yenagoa.
The government also expressed concern over the regular violence and insecurity that takes place during activities of the APC in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that gunmen suspected to be political thugs on Friday invaded the APC secretariat during the inauguration of the new caretaker chairman of the party, Mr Joseph Fafi.
The national leadership of APC had expelled the former Bayelsa chairman of the party, Chief Timi Oruminigha, and his executive members and appointed an interim executive to pilot the affairs of the party.
In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite, the People’s Democratic Party-led government described the incident as a serious breach of the existing peace in the state, barbaric.
The Bayelsa government noted that the incident was against all democratic and acceptable norms.
The state government therefore called on the law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the recent outbreak of violence during the party’s non-elective congress in the state capital, which led to the shooting, killing and maiming innocent citizens.
The statement called on the Federal Government and the national leadership of APC to call its on its officials in Bayelsa to order as their activities were becoming disgraceful and highly embarrassing to the government and the law abiding people of the state.
“It is a very sad commentary that the APC in Bayelsa state has turned itself to a lawless and violent organisation, where its leaders and supporters resort to violence at every slight provocation.
“Even for internal matters of the party that ought to have been handled with maturity and reasonable level of understanding,” Obuebite said.
Reacting to the incident, leader of APC in the state, former Bayelsa Governor, ChiefTimipre Sylva, decried the shooting and killings and said that efforts to bring the party to disrepute had failed.
Sylva, who commiserated with families of the victims and visited the injured, apologized to APC supporters and loyalists.
He attributed the dwindling fortunes of the party to poor leadership of the former chairman, Mr Tiwei Oruminigha.
“Today, they thought they can intimidate us, small children and cowards; they came here to scare the people, but they have failed in their attempts.
“The ship of APC has started sailing in Bayelsa State and no one can stop the ship, now this party will begin to function.
“To all supporters and Bayelsa people, I am in the state to officially present Mr. Joseph Fafi as the one that would run the affairs of the party in the< state; now, Fafi is the new party acting chairman,” Sylva said.