The security situation in Bayelsa state has degenerated into a ridiculous dimension with hooligans mounting road blocks and robbing commuters on major roads in Yenagoa, the state capital.
This is coming on the heels of the withdrawal of the state owned security outfit codenamed Operation Doo-Akpor which was set up by the present administration.
The security situation is also worsening in some parts of Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State. In Isiokpo and Igwuruta communities, suspected cultists are having a field day, terrorising the residents, some of who have fled their homes and shops.
Our correspondent observed that unlike before when the operational vehicles of the outfit were placed at entrances to the various streets in the Yenagoa metropolis, none of the hilux vans used by Doo-Akpor were seen on the streets anymore.
It was learnt that the bad boys in town may have taken advantage of the absence of men of the outfit to launch fresh deadly attacks on innocent residents.
An eye witness, who preferred anonymity for fear of being hunted, narrated that suspected bandits numbering over 10, were at the Obele axis of the Melford Okilo Expressway, stopping and dispossessing commuters of their belongings at gunpoint.
According to him, the incident occurred in the early hours of Thursday.
He further recounted that the miscreants spent close to 30 minutes robbing their victims before leaving.
"They commanded passengers to come down at gunpoint and their focus was on collecting money and cell phones from their victims. They even commanded some people to lie on the floor.
"For close to 30 minutes, these guys were on the road before they finally left the scene unperturbed", the eye witness said.
A journalist reporting for the West African Business News newspaper, Mr. Philip Eke is also a victim of the fresh resurgence of insecurity in the oil rich state.
Eke narrated to his colleagues in Yenagoa that he boarded a tricycle from Ekeki and was heading towards Yenagoa main town, about 8:pm, adding that with him in the tricycle was a lady sitting on his left hand side.
On getting to Ovom bus stop, the journalist said the lady told the tricycle operator to stop, indicating that she had reached her destination.
Eke recalled that he had to casually alight to enable the lady come down.
Immediately he stepped down, the journalist noted that a young man accosted him and pointed a pistol at his chest and "asked me to submit. He dipped his hand into my pocket and took my blackberry phone. I thank God that I was not hurt".
Meanwhile, there is an outcry in Bayelsa over the seeming disbandment of Operation Doo-Akpor in the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state had raised the alarm, accusing the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state of influencing the Inspector General of Police to disband the security outfit to make the state ungovernable.
The PDP also alleged that the incessant posting of commissioners of police to the state was a handiwork of the leader of the APC in Bayelsa, Chief Timipre Sylva with the aim of destabilizing the state.
Publicity secretary of the APC in the state, Mr. Doifie Obuokoribo has since dismissed the allegations, describing them as "jokes taken to far".
The newly posted commissioner of police to the state police command, Mr. Joseph Mukan has confirmed the withdrawal of the operational vehicles of the security outfit, an indication that the operation Doo Akpor has been disbanded.
During a phone-in programme, Rise and Shine on Glory FM 97.1 in Yenagoa on Friday morning, Mukan, however, hinted that Bayelsans should seek explanations from the federal government and the head of operation Doo- Akpor over its disbandment.
Fielding questions from callers from different parts of the state, the CP said, "the withdrawal of Doo-Akpor, I believe, will better be answered by the commander of Doo-Akpor about the withdrawal of the outfit.
"I wouldn't know why they decided to withdraw their vehicles from the road. We have been collaborating with them. If there is any withdrawal for whatever reason, I believe we should have been informed, but nobody informed us.
"Get in touch with those who are directly in charge of Doo-Akpor and I believe they will give you a better explanation".
Mukan, however, assured that the absence of the outfit would not aggravate the security challenges facing the state at the moment, adding that the state would witness a new security narrative under him.
Meanwhile, callers to the programme alleged that some political leaders in Bayelsa were playing politics with the security of the state.
One of the callers from Sagbama attributed the worsening security situation in the state to the incessant posting of police commissioners to the state as well as the recent withdrawal of the state security outfit.
Another caller said, "who will now be answering to our distressed calls? Let them give us another security outfit who will be complementing the police".
Callers also complained that most men of the Nigerian police in the state had deviated from their statutory obligation of safeguarding lives and property and were busy mounting illegal checkpoints to extort motorists.
Rivers: Ikwerre LG under siege as Chairman blames power mongers
Last week, there was a clash between security operatives and cultists at Igwuruta-Ali. Traffic to and from the Port Harcourt International Airport was impeded because of the clash.
Residents took to their heels when it became clear that security operatives had gone after the cultists, who did not also show signs of surrendering. One person was suspected to have been killed during the clash.
The situation in the local government has been linked to the recent attack on the chairman of the local government, Mr Samuel Nwanosike. It is not immediately clear who must have been responsible for the attack on the chairman, believed to be one of the strong supporters of the governor, Nyesom Wike.
On Monday, Nwanosike, while speaking on a live radio programme in Port Harcourt blamed the crisis in the area on the activities of a wanted criminal whom he said was operating with the tacit support of some highly placed individuals from the state.
He said the wanted cultists was being patronised and empowered by people who were bent on taking over power in the state. According to Nwanosike, the suspect was going about with a bullet proof vest, with an inscription 'police.'
He however said the PDP had the capacity to contain the cultists. He said they would not surrender to those who were battling to cease power by force.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has raised the alarm that the APC Federal Government has concluded plans to plant 800 guns in the state, with the objective of destabilising Rivers State.
In a statement signed by Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, the governor was quoted as saying that the APC federal government resolved to implement the plot during her last security meeting.
He stated that the intelligence came from credible sources that were privy to the ugly plot against Rivers State.
The governor called on the international community to take note of the proposed illegal action of the APC Federal Government, which is aimed at creating crisis in the state.
He regretted that the federal government has continued to work deliberately to compromise the security of Rivers State.