Bayelsa govt to investigate Amatolo, Okumbiri crisis …Asks residents to return

Bayelsa State government has said it will investigate the recent violent skirmish between neighbouring communities of Amatolo and Okumbiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.

It also asked residents who fled the communities to return as it has taken security measures to ensure their protection and safety.

Governor Henry Seriake Dickson gave the assurance on Monday evening in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Mr. Danie Alabrah.

Governor Dickson expressed concern that the communities, which had a long tradition of keeping the peace, allowed the crisis to degenerate.

His words: "I strongly condemn reports of violence between Amatolo and Okumbiri communities in the state. I am even more concerned knowing that these communities have been known to have a long tradition of keeping the peace.

"I have consequently directed the security agencies to ensure law and order is maintained in both communities and to protect the lives and property of every law-abiding indigenes. Those who fled should return to their communities as the security personnel will guarantee their safety. Government will also investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crisis and seek ways to resolve it."

He said preliminary reports indicated that hoodlums and cultists unleashed violence on both communities and that security agents have been directed to fish out the perpetrators.

The governor stressed that his administration would continue to ensure peaceful co-existence between and among the different communities in the state.

He thanked the leadership of both communities for their effort to maintain peace and restore order, saying the government will meet with all parties involved, including the chairman of the council and the community leaders.

Mr. Daniel Alabrah

Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Affairs