It was a sad moment for a woman and other members of her family when the corpse of her son was brought home yesterday after the clash between security
It was a sad moment for a woman and other members of her family when the corpse of her son was brought home yesterday after the clash between security operatives and residents in Amassoma, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State, reportedly left him dead.
Local reports show that the clash, which started in the morning at the gate of the state-owned Niger Delta University (NDU) , was said to have left many people injured.
It was gathered that the university community was thrown into tension as sporadic gunshots and fired teargas canisters caused panic among the residents.
The problem was said to have started when a detachment of armed security operatives, who arrived the community early in the morning, forcefully opened the gate of the troubled school.
The school was shut down by aggrieved community women, whose names were removed from NDU’s payroll after they were indicted by the ongoing public sector reforms of Governor Seriake Dickson.
The women, who insisted that their names must be returned to the payroll against civil service rules, were said to have hired the services of a welder to permanently seal the university’s gate.
The protesters including women and youths were said to be angry when they woke up in the morning to discover that the school’s gate was forcefully opened and surrounded by scores of heavily armed security operatives.
They were said to have regrouped in their numbers and marched towards the gate to confront the security men.
Residents near the university community said that the clash turned violent when the policemen resorted to firing gunshots to disperse the protesters, resulting to death of five while several others were injured.
The protesters comprised the host community and staff of the Niger Delta University, including non-academic staff who were part of the 1,700 who lost their jobs in what the Bayelsa government described as “retirement”.
They maintained that the ongoing reforms had led to massive job losses from members of the university host community who gave up their ancestral land to accommodate the university in exchange for job opportunities for the people.
“We feel that the school is part of our community and we gave up our lands to support the establishment of the school with the understanding that the school will provide some jobs to our people and now those jobs are gone,” one of the protesters said