It has been reported of seven casualties in Oluasiri, a community in Bayelsa State as a result of an exchange of fire between two rival groups.
The incident which happened on Wednesday night, August 19 reportedly started after one of the gangs in the community kept in its possessions sophisticated weapons meant to be used by all the groups during an operation.
Naija News understands that argument on the possession of the firearms resulted in the death of no fewer than seven persons in the community which is under Nembe Local Government Area of the state.
It was reported that the chaos was ignited at Isiah-Ama area in Oluasiri, a community marked for hosting armed groups involved in illegal kidnapping and ownership of bunkering camps in Bayelsa State.
According to a local source who confirmed the incident to newsmen, “The three gangs involved are located in Izakiri, Ben-Ama and Isiah-Ama communities. These areas, according to the source, have become a den for armed militias operating along the borders of Bayelsa and Rivers State.”
The battle which reportedly lasted for about ten hours between both armed groups resulted in scores of injuries and casualties, Naija News understands.
”We also know that the affected gangs who lost foot soldiers have started burying their dead because the community does not allow fresh dead bodies kept in the community. Among the dead were two boys from a single parent”.
“Every security agency is aware of the illegal activities of these boys. The umbrella body of Ijaw Youths are aware and have kept quiet. The Oluasiri, as a community, have cried severally over the activities of these people. But no action”.
On his part in a phone conversation with newsmen, the Paramount Ruler of Isiah-Ama, HRH. Iyerite Chiefson Awululu, on Thursday, August 20 noted that the gun duel was among militant factions in the area, ”the gun battle lasted for hours. And they have suffered some deaths. Seven or eight persons died in the clash.”
He added, “From reports reaching me from my subjects, no innocent indigene was killed in the battle. And we have reported to the Local Government Chairman. The indigenes of the community had to cry out to avoid being hit by stray bullets.”
When contacted, the Chairman of the Nembe Local Government Area, Hon. Alalibo West disclosed that the incident has been reported to the relevant security agencies including the State Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri.
He said, ”We have reported to the relevant authorities and have requested for a gunboat patrol to calm the situation. And I learnt the situation is now under control”.
Meanwhile, a sum of N10m as been demanded as ransom for their release of two travellers who were kidnapped by suspected gunmen in Ondo State today, Naija News reports.