Angry protesters – comprising the host community, the staff of the Niger Delta University, including cleaners and gardeners, have blocked all major roads leading to the Niger Delta University (NDU), Amassoma, Bayelsa State as they protested against Governor Dickson of Bayelsa State.
Some of the protesters were seen with fetish items while laying ”curses” on Bayelsa state governor, just after they locked all offices and also blocked the main entrance to the institution. The protesters who wanted the whole world to know that the ongoing civil service reforms being carried out in the NDU by the state government is mainly targeted at the people of Amassoma Community, were protesting against the administration of Governor Dickson over an alleged marginalization of the people of Amassoma.
The protesters who said they won’t relent until the state government reverses its decision, also added that NDU will not be opened for academic activities until the state government reverses its harsh decisions concerning the workers. They also proclaimed that the entire community, mostly the women, will not go to the bush for seven days.
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This is not the first time such a protest will be held in Bayelsa State. Few years ago, Bayelsa state youths, angered by governor Seriake Dickson’s alleged “deliberate starving the state of funds”, staged a violent protest against his leadership in Yenagoa.
The protest started at about 6 a.m. at the Tombia-Etegwe roundabout, leaving travellers stranded and bringing commercial activities to a halt. The majority of protesters were ex-militant leaders. Local police say they used “the excuse of low allocation from federal government” for staging the protest. According to eyewitnesses, John Opotobo, an ex-militant from Southern Ijaw local government area was killed, while eight others sustained injuries in the course of armed confrontation with the police.
The Bayelsa Police Command, however, denied the death reports, saying they “only shot tear gas canisters”, not live cartridges, to disperse the crowd. They’ve also confirmed the arrest of six protesters.