Barely 48 hours to the supplementary elections in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday engaged themselves in an all-out bloody battle that saw the house of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Konbowei Benson, in Korkosei community of Southern Ijaw council area attacked with explosives suspected to be dynamite by unknown masked attackers.
The speaker, who confirmed the incident yesterday, accused the APC of hiring thugs who attacked his house.
THISDAY gathered that the masked men invaded the riverside home of the speaker at about 4 a.m. yesterday. It was learnt that the house was empty when the invaders arrived in as the speaker’s family had all been relocated to Yenagoa before the December election.
Following the kidnapping of his aged mother few months ago, and the fear of election violence, Benson had relocated every member of his family from Korokorosei as the area is a hotbed of violence.
According to the speaker, no life was lost in the attack even though he lost property worth millions of naira to the destruction.
Benson narrated that he got wind of the development around 4a.m. yesterday when he received calls from his home town about the attack on his house.
“I was asleep in my house in Yenagoa, and around 4a.m., my wife’s phone rang and a message was sent to us that my house had been attacked with explosives.
“It is not something unexpected because they have always been promising to attack and assassinate me or my family members.
“During the last election, about 14 persons of my community and family members were kidnapped and taken to Ologbobiri and assaulted.
“They have decided that this time they would start with my building. They went there and planted dynamite and explode it which damaged some parts of the building.”
Also, the brother of the deputy governor of the state, Beinmopre Jonah, yesterday escaped death by whiskers following an alleged attack on him in Yenagoa by “thugs suspected to be working for All Progressives Congress (APC),” the state Government has claimed.
The state goverment in a statement said Jonah is lying unconscious in an undisclosed hospital, quoting the Director of Publicity of Governor Seriake Dickson’s Restoration Campaign Organisation, Jonathan Obuebite, as having “condemned the attack,” describing it as “a confirmation of the PDP’s earlier position that APC is not ready for election in the state but war.”
According to the statement, “The attack on the immediate younger brother of the deputy governor is a pointer to the terror that the APC is planning to unleash on the people of the state during tomorrow’s re-run election.”
The statement also said: “The suspected APC thugs, as reliably informed, stormed the area, brandishing dangerous weapons, including machetes, cudgels among others, headed straight for his residence.
“The entire area was thrown into panic, as the suspected thugs threatened to shoot, maim or kill anybody who may put up any resistance or call security operatives.
“An inside source revealed that, the invaders overpowered his guard, broke the security lock of the gate and headed straight into his living room where he was with family members, and attacked him.
“The victim, according to our source, overpowered the defenceless Jonah and inflicted machete cuts on him all over his body before they left.
“The operation, which lasted for close to two hours, left the entire neighbourhood in pandemonium, as they were made to stay indoors.”
The statement further stated that: “As at the time of filing this report, the victim, whose head was heavily bandaged with machete cuts all over his body, is receiving treatment at the Government House clinic in Yenagoa.”
Efforts to get his comment on the incident proved abortive, as he was in a state of unconsciousness, with serious injuries on his head, neck and chest.
The director of publicity therefore, called for thorough investigation into the matter, adding that this was the only way the people in the state would have confidence in the security personnel.
According to him, it is sad to note that some top politicians and ex-militants alleged to be responsible for the botched December 2015 governorship election in Southern Ijaw council area are still working freely, without being arrested by the security agencies.