The All Progressives Congress, Bayelsa State chapter, has condemned as callous the attempts by the government of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson to justify Tuesday’s killing of protesters by the police in Amassoma on the excuse that the victims were cultists and hoodlums. In a statement Thursday in Yenagoa by the State Publicity Secretary-Elect, Mr Doifie Buokoribo, APC queried the criteria adopted by the government to designate people as criminals and extra-judicially direct their killing.
The party said Dickson had by his statement and whole attitude to the killings “simply confirmed our belief that ‘the victims were deliberately targeted in a way that shows he is completely destitute of human feeling”.
APC Bayelsa said Dickson’s deceptive statement on the Amassoma killings ran contrary to every news report on the incident, stressing that no amount of lies can wash off the blood of the victims on the governor’s hands.
The statement read, “After a lot of twisting and turning, Governor Dickson on Wednesday acknowledged the truth that those he sent the police to shoot and kill in Amassoma were protesters. But unable to find a reasonable ground for his act, he lied that the victims were cultists and hoodlums. The Nigeria Police in Bayelsa contradicted the government’s account in its statement on Wednesday, when it maintained that what they met in Amassoma were a crowd of protesters.
“What we do know is that under our laws, the people have an inalienable right to peaceful agitation, a right which the residents of Amassoma were exercising on that black Tuesday when they were mowed down by the police. All major news reports that day on the incident confirm this. Governor Dickson’s attempt to justify the killing of the protesters is the height of callousness against the very people he claims to have the mandate to protect and provide for. No amount of lies can cleanse the blood of the victims on his hands.
“The government’s position that the people must die because they are APC members also runs against moral and democratic thinking. It has simply confirmed our belief that ‘the victims were deliberately targeted in a way that shows a complete lack of emotion’
“We believe, however, that we must defend the weak and vulnerable in our society because of the common humanity we share. As a party, we would give voice to the poor and excluded majority, including our party members. We cannot abandon them because of what Dickson would say or do, particularly, when they are no longer in a position to speak for themselves.
“We insist that this pointless cruelty being orchestrated by Governor Dickson in Amassoma must stop!”