Gun fire erupted in the coastal settlement of Bilabiri in Ekeremo local government area of Bayelsa State over the weekend as a group of ex-militants revolted against their leader, “General” Pius. The rebellious group accused their leader of diverting part of their amnesty financial package doled out by the amnesty office coordinated by Kingsley Kuku.
Two sources said the Sunday morning shoot-out forced many residents to flee the community for their safety.
“The gunmen arrived in two speed boats in search of ‘General’ Pius,” said one source. He added that the militant “commander” was reportedly spending his weekend in Bilabiri. “The residents ran and took refuge in the mangrove swamps as the gunfire intensified,” the source added.
SaharaReporters gathered that the attacking ex-militants moved from the waterfront and advanced to the residence of their “commander” where the shooting intensified.
A resident of the community disclosed that the embattled ex-militant leader may have escaped having been tipped off by some loyalists about the attack.
One source said the gunmen made away with several outboard engines and an undisclosed amount of cash in local and foreign currencies from the residence of the ex-militant leader.
The attack reportedly left the community in a state of anxiety for fear of another attack or a reprisal by gunmen loyal to “General” Pius.
A source with the Joint Task Force confirmed the development, stating that they had received reports of the shoot-out. “Yes, we heard that there was a battle between ex-militants in the area,” the source said.
The force’s spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu said on Sunday that the task force was keeping a close watch on developments in the community.
Source: Sahara Reporters