The Bayelsa State Police Command has foiled an attempt by some ex-militants to blow up the popular Ekeki Motor Park in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
The Ekeki Park, the hub of the transportation business in Yenagoa, hosts hundreds of people everyday.
The two suspects, who had been arrested by the police were Esiki Esele and Joshua Obah, while one of them was at large. The suspects, who claimed they belonged to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) working with Farah Dagogo, said their intention was not to kill anybody but to instill fear into the minds of the NDDC transport officials who assaulted them and deflated the tyres of their car because they parked it over night at the park.
The Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State, Musa Aliyu, who confirmed the arrest on Wednesday, said Esele, who was fiddling with one of the dynamites that were to be used for the operation miscalculated and the dynamite exploded chopping off his wrist.
The explosion attracted some of the park officials and policemen who quickly went to the scene and stopped further detonation of the remaining explosives which was immediately handed over to the police anti-bomb squad.
In separate interviews with Daily Sun at the police headquarters, Yenagoa and Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Esele and Obah insisted that they were on a revenge mission just to instill fear into the minds of NDDC officials and had no intention to kill anybody.
Esele explained that in their efforts to ensure that there were no casualties, the operation to detonate the dynamites was shifted from afternoon when there would be people at the park to the night when nobody would be there.
Aliyu, who appealed to Bayelsans to go about their lawful businesses, said the police were determined to get to the root of the matter because the two suspects had confessed to various attacks they carried out for MEND at the height of militancy in the region.
“We are investigating the matter to know who made the bomb for them. The suspects confessed to have taken part in several attacks against the Navy and Army during the militant era. They confessed to have participated in many operations.” He advised militants to toe the line of peace and embrace dialogue as that is the only way they can realize their vision for the region.
While noting that the amnesty period is over, Aliyu pleaded with those yet to surrender their arms and ammunitions to do so that the Federal Government can assist them. “Though the amnesty period is over, but some of them with arms should go the nearest Police station to surrender their arms to DPO and SO who would document them and forward their names to the Federal Government for necessary action, we sincerely plead with them not to engage in violence but dialogue with the authorities to achieve their aim