7 PERSONS INJURED AS YOUTHS DISRUPT SNG PROTEST IN BAYELSA
Seven persons including two policemen, on Thursday, sustained injuries when a protest rally by the Bayelsa State chapter of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) was allegedly disrupted by some youths sympathetic to Governor Timipre Sylva.
According to Daily Sun investigations, the SNG had attempted to protest against what it described as bad governance in the morning but it could not take off until late in the afternoon. The protesters walked from the White Eagle Hotel at Etegwe towards the heart of Yenagoa, the state capital.
Members of the group who carried placards with inscriptions like ' Save Bayelsa from fraudulent government,' 'Sylva must go in 2011,' 'Stop the deceit, don't decieve President Jonathan with fake projects,' 'Bayelsans are tired of bad governance,' were provided with police protection by the State Police Command.
At Opolo, the organisers of the protest discovered that some youths had infiltrated their ranks and were trying to snatch some of the placards. Two of them were promptly arrested and handed over to the police while the others fled.
At Otiotio Road junction, Yenezue Gene and Nikton Roads 'junction, Kpansia, the protest became bloody as the demonstrtors engaged another set of youths in violent confrontation. The clash resulted in the serious injuries suffered by the two policemen and the five protesters.
One of those who sustained serious injuries during the incident, was identified as Mr. Eberiserimo Gbassa, National Coordinator of the Zuonaki Human Rights Initiatives (ZUHURI)
Sensing the danger ahead, the organisers of the rally ordered the protesters to beat a retreat mid -way to the Government House in order to avoid a full-blown confrontation.
The Coordinator of the Bayelsa SNG, Mr. Tony Ile explained that the attempt to disrupt the protest through violence was a pointer that the Bayelsa youths were being suppressed from airing their grievances.
''But we have let the world know that in Bayelsa State, bad governance existed. We have created the awareness among the people to move against this failed administration and resist the procurement of loans.'
The Chairman of the Action Congress (AC), Mr. Miriki Ebikibina said the protesters have demonstrated that Bayelsans are alive to their responsibilities to resist bad governance.
'It is challenging, timely, needful and welcomed to ensure that it is only through the protection of the peoples vote and mandate that the desired change will be guaranteed in a failed State,' he stressed. As at the press time, of filling this report, the state government is trying to come out with a reaction to state its involvement in the disruption of the rally.