Gov’s aide hides N300m in septic tank •Money carted away by gunmen •It’s a private affair -Govt

TONGUES are wagging in Bayelsa State as regards the carting away of over N300 million from the home of an aide to Governor Timipre Sylva by hoodlums.

The development has created palpable tension as it came on the heels of similar invasion of residences of prominent politicians in the state in the last three weeks.

The state command of the Nigeria Police is yet to uncover those who masterminded the bombing of the Aleibiri home of former deputy governor, Mr Peremobowei Ebebi, three weeks ago.

Similarly, the security guard of the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Youths and Conflicts Resolution, Michael Wenibowei, was only last week killed in an attack on his residence.

It could not be immediately confirmed if there was any casualty in the latest raid, but the money, said to be in local and hard currencies, was kept in a septic tank at the residence of the governor’s aide.

Findings by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the incident happened two weeks ago at Akassa, Brass Local Government Area, as armed youths invaded the residence of the official (name withheld) in the night and made straight for the septic tank where the money was kept as they shot sporadically into the air.

Efforts to get confirmation from the state police command was unsuccessful as its spokesman, Eguavoen Edokpae, said he could not comment.

“I cannot say anything right now; I am in Abuja on official assignment,” he said.

However, the state government said the matter was a private affair of the person concerned.

“The matter is an entirely private affair of an individual; it has nothing to do with the state or the government of the state. You can approach him to get whatever information you need on the matter,” Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Nathan Egba, told the Nigerian Tribune on the telephone.

But the opposition Action Congress (AC) in the state has called for an investigation into the matter, just as it challenged Governor Sylva to exonerate himself.

Acting state chairman of the AC in Bayelsa State, Ebikibina Miriki, in a statement, condemned the high rate of alleged corruption in the state.

“Bayelsa AC dares Governor Sylva and the state lawmakers to exonerate themselves that they are not part of the alleged N300 million and hard currencies concealed in the home of the official when armed youths stormed his home and carted away the money kept in a septic tank.

“The governor should invite the EFCC to probe the incident and know how the man got the money.

This challenge is necessary because of the attitude of the governor in treating the issue of corruption among his aides; it is callous and wicked that the man would hide so much in a septic tank when there are a series of protests over unpaid salaries of civil servants in the state,” Miriki said in the statement.

Efforts to get the said official to react were futile as his mobile numbers were not going.

In another development, unknown gunmen at the weekend reportedly attacked Ekpoma, the home town of Governor Sylva, in Brass Local Government Area of the state. Even though no life was lost, valuable properties were destroyed, while an 83-year-old retired military officer was beaten to a pulp.

Suspected gunmen, numbering over 18, arrived at the coastal community in two speedboats and unleashed terror. People of the community have paid solidarity visit to the governor, assuring him of their support.

However, Governor Sylva has reiterated his commitment to the social and economic development of the state. He also informed the members of the visiting community of the release of N5 billion for the commencement of work on Nembe/Brass road project.

Reacting to the invasion of governor’s home town, the Commissioner for Information, Honourable Nath Egba said the series of attacks and violent actions in the state might be a coordinated effort by some people to disrupt the existing peace in the state and embarrass the governor.

Though the security agencies have redoubled their efforts at bringing the culprits to book, he assured the people of their safety. He said: “It is obvious that it may be part of a coordinated attack to make Bayelsa environment unsafe. The state government has enjoyed peace because the state governor has invested much in sustenance of peace and development.”

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