One killed as groups clash over campaign largesse in Bayelsa

Samuel Nkemakolem, Yenagoa

A final year student in Fine and Applied Art at the Bayelsa State-owned Niger Delta University, James Eze, was on Monday shot dead by a suspected rival group over the sharing of money given to them by political party’s campaign team.

Eze, in his early 20s, was reportedly gunned down few minutes after the People’s Democratic Party campaign train left the Famgbe community in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.

A source, who did not want his name in print, said the young man had engaged members of the other group in a heated argument over the largesse when he was shot at close range by the rival group.

It was reported that members of the PDP campaign team took to their heels following the gunshots as both groups engaged in a shootout, which caused tension in the community.

The source said, “We were at a corner watching the rally when money was given to the young man (Eze), but as the campaign team was preparing to leave, another group surfaced from nowhere and demanded the money.

“The young man refused to hand over the money and he was immediately shot first in the hand with which he was holding the bag containing the money and then in the chest at close range.

“His group members, who were taken by surprise, immediately mobilised for reprisal, which led to sporadic gunfire between them. No other live was lost but many were injured. I cannot ascertain the number now.”

When contacted, the spokesman for the state Police Command, Asinim Butswat, said he had not been briefed by the police divisional headquarters in Yenegoa, and promised to get back to our correspondent.

He had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.