The political situation in Bayelsa state has taken a bizarre turn as gunmen on Saturday night invaded the Yenagoa home of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Matters, Dr. Waripamowei Dudafa and carted away an undisclosed amount of money after destroying the safe kept in one of his rooms. Family sources said that the gunmen were asking after him and ransacking the entire building looking for him.
The source said that gunmen who invaded the home were not looking like hoodlums. The 10 man gang were allegedly dressed in mobile police uniform when they came calling. They were said to have stormed the residence in Okaka Estate, Yenagoa at about 8pm when the three mobile policemen guarding the residence of the Presidential aide were not around.
The gunmen were said to have gained entry into the premises of Dudafah after allegedly telling the security men (civilians) that they were policemen on operations from the police headquarters. When they got into the premises, they were said to have bound the Chief gateman, one Muhammed Garba, tying his legs, his hands and covering his eyes and mouth.
An eyewitness, who craved anonymity, alleged the attack on Dudafah’s home was politically motivated. He said the incident took place few minutes after results of some rescheduled House of Assembly polls were released and Dudafa backed candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance defeated his Peoples Democratic Party opponent in Kolokuma-Opokuma Constituency.
Narrating his ordeal, Garba, who said he had been working with Dudafa for eight years, said the suspects came in two black Sport Utility Vehicles.
“They ordered me to open the gate. I opened a small gate and saw about 10 of them. They pushed me and they gained entry into the premises. They spanked my head. They tied my hands, mylegs, covered my mouth and eyes with celotape.
They went for my room at the security gate and asked me to show them the apartments of police security in the building. They also asked for Dudafa (Oga) house keys. I told them I did not know where they were since I was not the person keeping them.
They said they would kill me if they eventually found the keys in my place. I kept quiet. After ransacking my room, they saw the keys. They started using them to open the main building.
“The man leading the operations, asked his colleagues to talk gently so that when my colleague who had gone to buy noodles at that time would not suspect something was amiss.
No sooner had they said that than my colleague came in, and they caught him. They now abandoned me bound, and took my second to be directing them. It was my second that was now showing them way.
They also went to boys quarters and also seized Dudafah cousin living there. They also tied him. They were threatening them that if they did not cooperate with them, they would waste them.”
Garba said when they had held all of them captive, they went inside the building and started ransacking everywhere. He said they came also with axes and saws which they were using to cut something inside the apartments. The 55 year old Garba, a father of one, said the operations lasted about three hours before they left.
Dudafah’s cousin, Pere Ozoru, said he was sleeping his room when the gunmen came.
He said it was the second gate man, Ibrahim, that brought them to his apartment. When newsmen visited the residence on Sunday, it was discovered that most apartments in the gigantic edifice were ransacked and furniture were destroyed.
In one of the rooms, a safe was destroyed and it could not be ascertained how much could have been carted away from the safe. Efforts to get the police reaction were unsuccessful as calls to the spokesman for the Bayelsa State Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, rang out several times.