Nigeria: Police Declare Curfew As Violence Erupts in Bayelsa

14 February 2020

The police have declared a three-day curfew in Bayelsa as violence erupted in Yenagoa following the political development in the oil-rich state.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, David Lyon, who won the November 2019 governorship election in the state, was sacked Thursday by the Supreme Court because his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, presented false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the election.

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Douye Diri, who scored the second highest votes in the election, was on Friday sworn in as the governor of Bayelsa.

Violent protests, apparently led by aggrieved APC supporters, erupted in the state capital, Yenagoa, and other parts of Bayelsa.

The Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa, Uche Anozia, told journalists that a three-day curfew has been declared in the state from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to forestall the breakdown of order.

The curfew which begins today would last till Sunday.

The police commissioner said eight persons have so far been arrested in connection with the protest.

Some buildings, including PDP secretariat in Yenagoa, was touched by the protesters.

A radio station belonging to the Bayelsa state government was said to have been vandalised and looted by protesters.

The PDP has accused the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, of instigating the violence in Bayelsa, apparently because of the comment he made that INEC should not issue Certificate of Return to Mr Diri whom he wrongly said did not meet the constitutional requirements to become governor.

"The PDP therefore charges the people of Bayelsa, the security agencies and Nigerians at large, to hold Oshiomhole responsible and accountable for the violence in Bayelsa state and deal with him accordingly in line with the provisions of our laws.

"The PDP calls on the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, to immediately pull in the factional National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, for questioning and prosecution for incitement," the PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement Friday evening.

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