CHINEDU WOSU, Yenagoa
A 24-year-old final year Business Administration student of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, Mr.. Diete Rufus, has been murdered in Bayelsa State.
Late Rufus was reportedly killed in crossfire during a deadly armed clash involving two rival cult groups on Sunday.
It was learnt that three other persons also sustained serious injuries in the incident which occurred in Okpotuwari and Ondewari communities, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Community sources said the incident caused panic and forced many residents to run into the creeks and forest for safety.
Rufus was first rushed to Korokorosei hospital where he was later referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, but later died on the way to the Federal Government health facility.
It was also learnt that the gun duel might not be unconnected with the alleged disagreement over the control of security of oil wells in the area, which had generated bitterness among the youths in recent times.
Meanwhile, one Ebikeseye Abiri, a younger brother of the detained publisher of a local newspaper in Bayelsa, Jones Abiri, from Okpotuwari and Ondewari communities, has been reported dead.
Jones, believed to be the breadwinner of their family, was arrested on July 21, 2016 in his Yenagoa office and has since been in the custody of the Department of the State Services (DSS) without trial yet.
Ebikeseye, a 30-year-old father of three children, was said to have died on Saturday in a medical facility at Akaba, following a fire incident which occurred while he was moving a container of locally-refined petroleum product from one location to another in a community in Rivers State.
Concerned members of the communities said the late Ebikeseye, whose wife gave birth to a baby on Saturday night, was forced to go into the trade to make ends meet for the family following the long absence of Jones.
A community source, who wished not to be named, said: “If Jones were around, this unfortunate incident wouldn’t have happened. Jones used to assist his deceased brother in the area of children’s education and other things.
“Since Jones has been denied his (Ebikeseye’s) family, things became tough and Ebikeseye had to make extra efforts in an attempt to bridge the gaps.”
He, therefore, appealed for the unconditional release of Jones on humanitarian grounds to enable him to take care of their aged mother and the family.
Calls to the spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, to get confirmation to the two incidents proved abortive as his mobile phone failed to connect.
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