The Delta State Police Command has debunked media reports alleging that 26 persons, including a senior traditional chief in Tuomo community in Delta State, had been abducted by unknown gunmen following disagreement over who becomes the community development council (CDC) leader.
The state police command spokesman, DSP Bright Edafe, said in a statement on Thursday that the reported Ijaw high-ranking community chief and the traditional Prime Minister of Tuomo community in Bomadi Local Government Area of the state, Chief Mike Loyibo Ekayama, was neither assaulted nor abducted as erroneously reported in the media.
The state police spokesman explained that security personnel deployed in the venue of the aborted election into the community CDC decided to take the traditional leader away to a safe place when the atmosphere at the proposed election venue became charged, and it became clear that no meaningful voting exercise could take place in such a rowdy situation.
The police further alleged that one of the interested parties in the tussle for the chairmanship of the community development council had hired thugs apparently in a deliberate attempt to disrupt the exercise.
The police spokesman said: “Because of the rowdy situation that ensued (at the election venue), people scampered for safety. The traditional prime minister was whisked away by the police to a safe place, and neither he nor anybody else was kidnapped as it was wrongly reported.”
The state police command said the false report might have been aimed at embarrassing the police in the state, as those who wrote the said story did not contact the state Commissioner of Police, Ari Muhammed Ali, or the Police Public Relations Officer for confirmation.
“It is not only false but a complete mischievous scheme by mischief makers to bring the command into disrepute,” Edafe said in his statement to clarify the situation.
According to him, “To put the record straight, the police command wishes to state as follow: ‘That there was a crisis in Tuomo community as a result of one Binabai Tomke, who has been parading himself as the community development council (CDC) chairman.
“On August 13, 2021, one Mike Loyibo Ekayama, the traditional prime minister of Tuomo kingdom, reported that based on a court order issued on July 19 in suit number: MCO/1/2021, the community should constitute an election committee that will produce another CDC chairman in two weeks from the date of the court order, they agreed to hold the election on August 15, 2021.
“On the date of the election, the self-acclaimed chairman hired tugs that disrupted the election process, but nobody was maimed, killed or injured.
“However, because of the rowdy situation, the people scampered for safety. The traditional prime minister was therefore whisked away by the police to a safe place, and neither him nor anybody else was kidnapped or abducted as it was wrongly reported.
“It is, therefore, pertinent to state that normalcy has been restored in the community and the traditional prime minister was in the office of the state Commissioner of Police today (Thursday) where he had some fruitful discussions.”