The crisis which has engulfed the Ijaw You Council (IYC) took a bloody turn on Thursday as members of a faction allegedly invaded a radio station in Yenagoa and beat up some executives who were being interviewed in a live radio programme.
IYC has been embroiled in a crisis of leadership following the claims of six out of the 10-member executive council that the IYC President, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, and the council’s spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare, had been suspended.
The host radio station, Rhythm FM, is owned by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce whose business chain, The Silverbird Group was also on Thursday seized by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).
The armed youths who invaded the radio station came in buses and broke in while a programme, Talk of the Town, anchored by Lishman Onisodemuya, was in progress. They had as their targets Wisdom Ikuli and Mike Edounkimor who they snatched and left battered in a pool of blood.
Before then, they shot sporadically into the air and chased away staff of the station who scampered for safety. Ikuli and Edounkimor who claim to be National Mobilisation Officer and Spokesman respectively were saved from being killed by the timely intervention of the police.
The radio studio was temporarily shut down thereafter.
The IYC crisis has pitched the Eradiri Udengs camp against the Elvis Donkemezuo camp. Eradiri had been accused by the Donkemezuo group of highhandedness and financial misappropriation.
The Thursday fracas allegedly occurred as groups loyal to Eradiri sought to preempt his opponents from responding to claims made by him on the same radio station a day earlier.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident.
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