Protest in Bayelsa as policeman allegedly kills cab driver over N100 bribe

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There was a protest in the Kpansia area of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Thursday, following the alleged killing of a commercial cab driver by a police officer.

the cab driver, a father of three, simply identified as Binalayefa Asiaye, also works as a trader with his wife at the popular Kpansia market and drives in the evenings when the market is closed.

 

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Afam Osigwe

Chukwuemeka Mbamala

Chukwuemeka Mbamala

The victim was said to have been shot dead for refusing to give the police officer a N100 bribe as demanded by the patrol team.

 

The team of police officers, on noticing that the deceased was bleeding after he was shot, left him and immediately ran away.

The incident, which happened on Monday evening in Azikoro town, Yenagoa, threw the neighborhood into pandemonium and tension.

 

Following the incident and the silence by the state police command, youths and traders in the popular Kpansia market took to the streets to protest what they described as a senseless killing.

 

The angry protesters carried placards with different inscriptions, such as “Stop police brutality,” “Stop unjust killing,” “The perpetrators must face the brunt of their consequences,” and “Binalayefa was working for his daily bread.” They locked down the busy Kpansia area and all adjoining roads that link to the expressway.

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, called for calm and implored the people of the state, particularly youths, to follow due process in resolving issues rather than embarking on frivolous protests.

 

Senator Diri gave the advice on Thursday during the 33rd state security council meeting at Government House, Yenagoa.

 

Reacting to the protest by youths who besieged the Government House over the killing of the cab driver, Diri said the incident was unfortunate and that the policeman had been arrested and is undergoing trial.

He acknowledged that while protest was a fundamental human right in a democratic setting, aggrieved persons should, however, not take the law into their hands to infringe on the rights of others.

 

He said: “Let me advise those who always take to protest that not everything elicits protest. In a democracy, you have a right to protest, but you must first look for an avenue to ventilate your grouse. This government has been very open to everyone. It is only when the government becomes insensitive that you can carry out protests.

 

“While protest is your right, you do not have to breach that of others by restricting movement. It is not proper to over-stretch your own right and abuse that of others.”

The governor explained that at the time the incident occurred, he was not in the state but was informed by the Commissioner of Police, noting that the police officer involved in the shooting of the victim was immediately apprehended.

 

He expressed the conviction that if found culpable, the policeman would face the full wrath of the law, stressing that it was unacceptable for an innocent life to be wasted.

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