Gunmen invade community, kill traditional ruler, CDC chairman in Bayelsa

Gunmen suspected to be crude oil thieves have reportedly killed the traditional ruler of Kalaba community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Francis Kolubo, and the chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC), Samuel Oburo, for allegedly opposing their plot to set up a bunkering camp in the area.

According to community sources, the monarch was abducted from his palace on Sunday to an unknown destination where he was murdered, while the CDC chairman was dragged out of his house and brutally killed in his backyard.

It was learnt that trouble began when a popular crude oil bunkering Marchant who hails from the community mobilized his group to set up a crude oil bunkering camp in the bushes bordering Kalaba and Ikarama community sometime early this year.

Tribune Online gathered that the plan by the crude oil bunkering Marchant was fiercely resisted by the deceased monarch and CDC chairman, on the grounds that any attempt to disrupt the activities of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) would hinder the development of the community.

Our source further noted that when their initial plan failed materialised, the merchant and his gang allegedly began to destroy pipelines in the area in order to secure a surveillance contract from NAOC, which they secured afterwards.

According to the source, being aware of the nefarious activities of the Marchant and his gang, the deceased monarch and CDC chairman allegedly exposed the gang of crude oil thieves and took over the surveillance contract.

“When that happened, the gang started planning to kill our monarch and CDC chairman. In the process, a woman overheard them plotting the murder and gave them the information but they laughed it off and did nothing about it.

“So, on Monday, the community woke up to the story that our paramount ruler has been kidnapped by some gunmen at about 3 am in his palace. We were all shocked and confused about what may have led to his abduction.

“That same day, the CDC chairman travelled to Yenagoa, the State Capital, to officially report the incident to the Police. While he was there, information came to some members of the community that the gang saw the CDC chairman in Yenagoa while he was reporting the incident to the Police and that they have sent some gunmen to lay ambush at his house.

“When he drove into town, he was informed about this plot and advised not to enter the community but he refused. He said no harm will come to him. As he drove into the community, a popular Pastor stopped him along the road and pleaded with him to take a back road that would lead him out of the community.

“This time he still refused to take the advice. Just as the gang had planned, the moment he got to his house about 7 pm, some men armed with guns and Matchette came out from hiding and dragged him to his backyard where they murdered him,” our source explained.

It was further gathered that shortly after the killing of the CDC chairman, the killer gang sent a message to the community that the monarch has been gruesomely murdered and gave them directions to where they could recover the corpse.

However, efforts to get the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Asinim Butswat, to confirm the incident proved abortive as of the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, reacting to the incident, the Project Officer/Head of Niger Delta Resource Centre of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Morris Alagoa, described the killing as “unfortunate and sad”.

He said, “although, I don’t know what prompted this action, that environment used to be peaceful and liveable.”



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