Bayelsa ritual killing: Tension mounts as youths attack shops, traders

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Aggrieved youths from Biogbolo, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, continued their attack on shops and other business premises belonging to non-indigenes to protest the ritual killing of one of their kinswomen identified as Faith.

Faith died on Monday two days after a man invited her to his room at De New Wapo Hotel located in the area, drugged her and harvested some sensitive parts of her body including her breasts.

When news of her death filtered into the community, angry youths, who identified the killer as a non-indigene took to the streets attacking shops and persons suspected to be non-indigenes.

The activities of the mob created tension and forced business owners to close shop.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Amba Asuquo, deployed a detachment of policemen to the scene but despite their presence, the youths caused more damage on shops and stopped resumption of business yesterday.

Investigations revealed that business owners deserted their premises and persons who tried to reopen their shops hurriedly closed them on sighting the youths.

But some of the non-indigenes were said to have engaged the aggrieved indigenes in a free-for-all, with the youths from both sides sustaining injuries.

Most of the stalls from Yeni-zuegene to Opolo, a significant stretch of the Mbiama-Yenagoa road were torched by the protesters.

Shops with glass windows and doors were shattered while others were looted by the youths, who carried machetes, sticks and other weapons.

Part of the upholstery and timber market was set ablaze by the youths, who also destroyed some furniture including chairs.

The busy Mbiama-Yenagoa road was devoid of traffic as motorists and other road users plied alternative routes.

The Nigerian Army deployed an Armed Personnel Carrier (APC) and a van of armed soldiers to constantly patrol the troubled spots.

But the police through the Area Commander was said to have held a meeting with the chiefs and community leaders in Biogbolo emphasizing on the need to maintain the peace.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Asinim Butswat, said the police had reinforced security in the area.

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