Heavily armed members of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide on Thursday invaded the Rhythm FM radio station, owned by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The visibly enraged youths, who invaded the studio in buses and other vehicles, were after two executive members of the IYC and guests on a live radio programme, Talk of the Town, anchored by Lishman Onisodemuya.
It was gathered that the youths, on arriving the premises of the radio station, released gunshots into the air, forcing employees in both the radio and television studios of the Silverbird Group to scamper for safety.
The irate youths, Punch reports, broke into the radio studio, interrupted the programme and dragged out the National Mobilisation Officer of IYC, Mr. Wisdom Ikuli, and a self-acclaimed spokesman for the council, Mike Edounkimor, who were guests on the programme.
It was learnt that the youths allegedly beat Ikuli and Edounkimor to stupour with bruises all over their faces.
The radio studio was temporarily shut down after listeners heard people screaming and running for cover.
But policemen, who arrived the area, were said to have arrested and handcuffed the duo and taken them to the Ekeki Police Station in Yenagoa.
It could be recalled that crisis erupted in the association recently 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 document purportedly suspending Eradiri and Omare was signed by the National Secretary-General, Bristol-Alagbariye Emmanuel; Director of Mobilisation, Wisdom Ikuli; Legal Adviser, Ekine Egberekro; Assistant Secretary, Deinkoro George; National Women Leader, Felicia Ngeri and Financial Sercretary, Kemepado Alfred.
The aggrieved executive members accused Eradiri and Omare of highhandedness and financial misappropriation. They went further to claim that they had replaced Eradiri and Omare with Mr. Elvis Donkemezuo and Edounkimor respectively.
But trouble was said to have started on Thursday when Ikuli appeared on the programme to respond to issues raised by Eradiri, who on Wednesday, was a guest on the same programme.
Ikuli was said to have invited violence when he announced on radio that Eradiri and Omare had been removed and warned them to stop parading themselves as the President and spokesman for the IYC.
Youths loyal to Eradiri, who heard the announcement and felt that their leader had been maligned, reportedly mobilised to the station to perpetrate the violence.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident, saying that the command was handling the matter.