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Bayelsa: Slain government house photographer, PDP chieftain laid to rest


Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson (left), leads his deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah Retd, Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kombowei Benson and others to pay their last respects to two PDP stalwarts; late Hon. Seidongha Taribi and late Hon. Reginald Dei, who were killed by soldiers, during the 2019 general elections, at a commendation service in their honour in Yenagoa… yesterday PHOTO: MICHAEL OWI.

Scores of mourners trooped out in their large numbers on Friday to pay their last respect to the Bayelsa State Government House photographer, Reginald Dei, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ward chairman for Oweikorogha, Seidougha Taribi, who were allegedly killed by soldiers during the last general election.

All wearing black, the mourners converged on the DSP Memorial Hall where the bodies of both victims were laid in state, sobbing.
The arrival of Governor Seriake Dickson at the venue attracted more wailings from the crowd. The Governor, also decked in black attire, immediately went to greet the immediate families of the victims.

Earlier, a statement by the Special Adviser, Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, had quoted the governor as saying the two victims would be interred in Yenagoa, the state capital.Dickson, who spoke during a meeting with political appointees in Yenagoa on Thursday night, accused the leaderships of the nation’s security agencies of deliberately shielding the perpetrators of the heinous act from justice.

He lamented that the masterminds of violence and killings in the state during the election were being given cover by security agencies, lamenting that they were yet to arrest them for prosecution.

“These two young men were cut down in their prime for no reason. The criminals responsible for this heinous crime are being guarded by security agencies. It is indeed another sad reminder of the things they (Federal Government) do to us as a state,” he said.

Dickson described the gruesome killings as acts of terrorism against the state, adding that Dei and Taribi were not near any polling unit when soldiers were led to kill them in their residence in Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The governor condemned the use of the nation’s Armed Forces for alleged brazen acts of murder and terrorism against innocent indigenes of the state. He also berated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state for colluding with the APC to subvert the will of the people.

He pointed out that despite the sacking of Bassambiri in Nembe LGA and failure to use Card Readers during the election, INEC went ahead to accept the results from the area. “You can see that in most of the states where the REC were firm, INEC said no, let the result come from the field; even with the big names and money, they were firm. But here in Bayelsa, a community like Bassambiri in Nembe LGA was sacked and the next day, after 24 hours of shooting, they just drove election materials straight to their location and INEC went on to announce what it got. Card readers were not used and yet some persons are parading themselves as winners,” he said.The governor charged party faithful to expect more intimidation and harassment from the APC even as the gubernatorial election in the state draws closer.

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