A peaceful protests have turned violent as one person was reportedly shot when a mob protesting against the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) over years of neglect attacked the palace of the Amayanabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff in Brass Council of Bayelsa State.
Properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed while the Palace was turned upside-down.
Indigenes of NAOC’s host community were protesting against protracted power outage, refusal to pay indigenous contractors and failure to meet its corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The Guardian learnt that the protest, which began on Sunday, May 16, 2020 and lasted till Tuesday, snowballed into chaos where some youths hijacked the rally and attacked Diete-Spiff, during a meeting with the protesters.
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It was also learnt that after soldiers attached to Diete-Spiff, a former military administrator of old Rivers State took him to the palace, the mob still proceeded to attack there.
The Guardian learnt that the mob destroyed some property, while a soldier, who tried to disperse the mob, shot one of the protesters on the leg.
Responding to the incident, the Brass chapter of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) condemned the attack on Diete-Spiff, saying it would not condone any disrespect for the monarch from indigenes or foreigners.
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In statement issued by its Chairman, Hello Richard and representative of the Ijaw clan, Benjamin Tustin, the group said: “Our attention has been drawn to the shooting of a protester by a military personnel during a peaceful protest by the people of Twon Brass Kingdom in Brass Council against Agip.
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“From our findings, the protest, triggered into chaos after some persons hijacked it and started fomenting trouble in the process, which eventually led to the attack on Diete-Spiff.
“We further learnt that while trying to protect the monarch, a soldier shot one of the protesters in the leg and the situation generated tension in the community. The shooting took place when some persons hijacked the protest and destroyed part of the palace.”
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The group stressed that it had become expedient that the leadership of Brass Clan of IYC should appeal to the people of Brass Kingdom to remain calm and urged security agencies to find the soldier, who shot the protester for necessary disciplinary action.
“We also appeal to Diete-Spiff to forgive those who attacked him and mobilise all leaders from the area to intervene to ensure peace between Twon Brass and Agip,” the group stated.
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