Residents of Ndoro community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa have fled the area following the alleged beheading of a security operative by militants.
A resident of the community, Mr Henshaw Ebi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday that the security official was negotiating with a militants’ leader in the area to surrender their arms when the incident occurred.
“The community was thrown into apprehension and people began to flee in droves since Monday when the lifeless body of the ‘security emissary’ was seen in the community without his head.
“The victim cannot be identified because he is in plain cloth.
“The fear is that the military might come after those responsible any moment from now and invade the community.
“The community has been deserted as we speak due to fear of imminent manhunt for the militants behind the dastardly act,’’Ebi said.
However, Bayelsa Government in a reaction to the development said on Friday that there was no cause for alarm.
The government called on fleeing members of the community to return home as the situation had been brought under control.
The Commissioner for information, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the assurance came in the wake of a meeting between Gov. Seriake Dickson, security chiefs, officials of the military high command, leaders and stakeholders of the community.
The Commissioner said in a statement that the member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Fred Agbedi also attended the meeting.
Iworiso-Markson said it was resolved that the military would move into the community and restore normalcy, while the government would begin a peace process.
He, therefore, called on the people who had fled to return as their safety was now guaranteed.
He said with the presence of the military in the area they could go about their normal businesses.
The commissioner said the situation was now under control following government’s quick intervention, and expressed regret over its occurrence.
He said Gov. Seriake Dickson had met “with very senior security chiefs and the military high command, as well as leaders and key stakeholders to decide on the steps to take and it was agreed that the military will move in to provide the needed peace”.
“So, we call on all those who have fled the community to return. There is no cause to be scared as government has intervened to ensure that the situation is brought under control,’’ he said. (NAN)