Bayelsa residents lament as robbers, cultists take over Yenagoa

THE NATION

With the near absence of police operatives at their different duty posts, armed robbers and armed cultists have taken over many communities in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Lately, many residents of the state capital have suffered hoodlums’ attacks as robbers and cultists armed with axes, cutlasses and guns invade their houses on a daily basis.

It was learnt that virtually all parts of Yenagoa metropolis are affected by the nefarious activities of the hoodlums who unleash mayhem on the helpless residents with impunity.

While cult groups engaged in violent raids of popular Swali market and some residents of Amarata, Tombia, Obele, Onopa, Biogbolo, Ekeki, Tombia, Agudama, among other areas, armed robbers use commercial tricycle, popularly known as Keke NAPEP to raid residents at night along major roads in the state capital.

Though the Bayelsa capital did not witness violence compared to Lagos and some other states, it was gathered that many officers and men of the police have dumped their duty posts in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests that rocked the country.

The state-owned security outfit, Operation Doo Akpo, that was gifted some security vehicles under Dickson are conspicuously missing on the streets of Yenagoa compounding the woes of residents who have nowhere to run to.

A journalist and state correspondent of a national newspaper escaped a robbery attack by whiskers on Thursday night along Azikoro road, near the Ekeki Police station.

The journalist, who did not want his name mentioned, said: “The incident occurred opposite the popular  Unique Bar. I survived their attack by whiskers  but one of the girls standing on the roadside was robbed of her phone and other valuables.

“They operated in a keke and were fully armed. Up till now, there’s no police on the road. Are they on strike? I really cannot fathom why the entire metropolis has been taken over by robbers and miscreants. The authorities should let us know why the police are not on their duty posts. I think it is obvious that the security operatives have abandoned us to our fate.”

Also a newspaper vendor, identified simply as Henry, was visited by robbers in his Azikoro village residence where they robbed him of his phones, money and other valuables in his apartment.

A visit to the Yenagoa office of a telecom giant, MTN, showed a sharp increase in persons seeking to recover their lines stolen with their phones.

Reacting to the development, the spokesperson for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, said “We commend Bayelsans for the maturity exhibited during the EndSARS protest as the command did not witness any riotous protest. The command will intensify patrols and surveillance to address the current security situation in Yenagoa and its environs.”

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