At least, seven people were feared shot dead in the Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State after three armed militants groups reportedly clashed over oil bunkering and kidnapping.
Sources said that the incident, which occurred on Wednesday at Oluashiri, resulted in the death of two brothers and five others.
It was gathered that trouble began when one of the militant gangs was accused of hoarding high calibre guns they reportedly use in their operations, especially on the high sea.
One of the camps was said to have suffered the highest casualty in the violent shoot out that ensued following the disagreement in the area bordering Bayelsa and Rivers states.
The traditional ruler of Isaiah-Ama, a settlement in Oluasiri, Chiefson Awululu, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The gun battle lasted for hours. And they have suffered some deaths. Seven or eight persons died in the clash.”
“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.”
Alalibo West, the Nembe Council Chairman, said the incident had been reported to the state government and the Commissioner of Police.
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”.
Confirming the incident in a statement on Thursday, the state police command said the sporadic gunshots involved rival militant camps operating in the Oluasiri area, saying it had commenced investigation into it.
The statement read in part, “Information at the disposal of the Bayelsa State Police Command revealed that, on 19 August, 2020, at about 1945 hours, there were sporadic gunshots witnessed by the residents of Oluasiri Community in Nembe Local Government Area of the State. It is believed that the gunshots were as a result of a clash by rival militant groups in the creeks of Oluasiri community.”
“The Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State Command, CP Mike Okoli fsi, wishes to reassure members of the Public that a joint operation by security agencies is ongoing to fish out the perpetrators and ensure the safety of lives of residents of the Community and the protection of critical infrastructures.”