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My photographer was shot by military – Dickson

Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, on Sunday alleged that a photographer attached to the Government House, Yenagoa, was shot, and a ward chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) killed by the military.

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Dickson alleged that the military colluded with some politicians to perpetrate the violence, which he said, characterised Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly polls in the state.

The PDP ward chairman, Mr Seidougha Taribi and the photographer, Reginald Dei, were reportedly shot during the elections in Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.

Dei is in critical condition at Diete Koki Memorial Hospital Opolo, Yenagoa, but Taribi died before getting to the hospital.

At a news conference on Sunday, the governor commiserated with the families of all those that lost their lives to electoral violence during the polls.

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”The two were shot by soldiers and my condolences go to the families of those that were killed.

”It is regrettable that people have to die because of elections and we have been advocating against electoral violence in the past eight years.

”I commend the people of Ekeremor and Brass, including INEC, for resisting the pressure to sabotaging the voting process, and people actually voted there for the first time.

“Prior to this time, they have been used to hijack of the process.

”It shows that our advocacy for peaceful elections is paying off but unfortunately, in places like Nembe-Basambri, it was still the same old story of hijacking the electoral process and I encourage them to resist it,” he said.

Reacting to the allegation, Spokesman of 16 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Yenagoa, Major Jonah Danjuma, said that the army was not responsible for the incident.

He explained that troops of the Brigade had conducted an operation in Ikebiri community, in Southern Ijaw, different from where the photo-journalist and party chieftain were reportedly shot.

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”We had no such incident; troops of 5 Battalion, 16 Brigade Nigerian Army, on Saturday arrested 15 armed men suspected to be political thugs at Ikebiri 1 in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

”It was a successful operation that led to the recovery of large cache of arms, ammunition and other items.

”This feat was achieved as a direct response by vigilant troops in Operation SAFE CONDUCT 2019 in 16 Brigade Area of Responsibility.” Danjuma said.

Also Spokesman of the Joint Military Task Force deployed to the Niger Delta, Major Abdullahi Ibrahim, said that the Command neither deployed men to the community nor had operation at Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw. (NAN)