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 Tension in Bayelsa over police shooting of Ijaw leader

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PostSubject: Tension in Bayelsa over police shooting of Ijaw leader   2015-02-24, 14:38

Tempers are rising among
members of the Ijaw Youth Council
Worldwide, the umbrella body of
Ijaw youths, over the shooting of
their leader in Kombowei clan,
Bayelsa State, by a trigger-happy
The leader, Mr. Bekikeme Dike, was
allegedly shot in the neck at a
police checkpoint at Igbogene area
of the state in the late hours of
It was learnt that Dike fell into a
coma (though some mistook him
for a dead man) after the shooting.
Though the reason for the shooting
could not be ascertained, claims
and counter claims have
characterised the incident.
But a source, who craved
anonymity, said the police corporal,
who opened fire on Dike’s vehicle,
claimed the IYC leader refused to
stop for search when he was
flagged down.
But the Bayelsa State Command
said the policeman that carried out
the shooting targeted the tyre of
the victim’s vehicle.
In a statement on Tuesday by the
Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa
State, Asinim Butswat, the police
said was not dead but responding
well to treatment.
The police said, “On February 22,
2015, at about 1700hrs, the Anti-
Crime Patrol Team of Igbogene
Police Station, while conducting a
routine stop-and-search duty along
Igbogene-Okolobiri Road, Yenagoa,
flagged down a Toyota Camry car,
whose plate number was covered
with a black wrapper bearing the
inscription: IJAW YOUTH COUNCIL,
driver of the Toyota Camry car
refused to stop.
“A Police Corporal, having
reasonable suspicion on the
driver’s refusal to stop, attempted
to shoot the tyre of the vehicle, but
the bullet hit neck of the driver.The
victim is responding to treatment,
while the Police Corporal has been
arrested and detained at the State
Criminal Investigation
The police said the command,
however, regretted the
unfortunate incident and assured
members of the public that
investigation was on and adequate
punishment will be awarded the
Corporal if found guilty.
It further advised members of IYC to
be calm, saying the Command
would do everything possible
within its power to ensure justice
for their wounded member.
But in condemning what it
described as senseless and reckless
shooting of its Chairman, the IYC
berated the police for creating the
impression that Dike refused to
stop at a checkpoint.
In a statement by its spokesman,
Eric Omare, the IYC said, “Contrary
to the false impression created by
the Nigeria Police in their press
statement that Mr. Bekikeme Dike
refused to stop at the check point,
Dike, who was with his fiancée
when one of the police officers
asked him to stop did so
“He did not pose any danger to the
life of the police officer. It was
while he was driving away from the
check point having been asked to
do so by the said officer that
another police officer who shot him
asked him to stop. He simply told
him that he had been asked to go
and the officer suddenly shot at
him. In any case, from the police
press statement it is obvious that
Dike was with an identifiable
vehicle as the vehicle plate number
bears the inscription ‘IYC,
Kombowei Clan Chairman’, hence
there was no reason for the police
officer to have shot him.” The IYC
also said contrary to the wrong
impression created by the police
that the victim was responding to
treatment, the victim was in critical
“He is in a very critical state and
would require a high level medical
attention in some of the best
hospitals in the world with the best
facilities possibly for him to
survive,” the group said.
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