By: Orezimena Asher Ese | Michael Jules
Youths of Amassoma, the host community to the prestigious Niger Delta University have protested over the continued closure of the Main Campus Gate despite the fact that issues have since been resolved among the government, students and management.
The protest was staged today 15th day of July 2021 by Amassoma youths led by a man simply named Don 2 who came over to the main campus and forcefully opened the gate.
The main campus gate which was under lock and key by the students who protested on the 6th and 7th day of July 2021 had remained locked till date. However, the angry protesters forcefully opened the gate, citing why main campus gate is locked and New Site opened.
The angry protesters opened the gate with the use of hacksaw to cut off the chains that was used to lock the gate.
After that, they carried banners with the inscriptions like “ALAMCO LEGACY MUST STAY”, “NDU IS ALAMCO LEGACY, AMASSOMA COMMUNITY WILL DO EVERYTHING TO PROTECT IT,” “ANY EVIL PLOT TO RELOCATE NDU FROM AMASSOMA TO SAGBAMA LGA WOULD BE RESISTED” etc.
Another notable youth leader present was General Okodi who was seen in the scene of the protest expressing his displeasure over what problem the VC has with the Amassoma people. Okodi Chairman who claimed to be the chairman of the street stated that Amassoma indigenes won’t grow in a school located in their own community.
He also stated that he was one of those who surrendered arms to the federal government and repeatedly ask n a short video what “what is the problem of the VC with the Amassoma people?”
Other protesters joined their voices as they say “as VC has said no Amassoma man will grow in this school that Alamieseigha brought to the Amassoma, he will not live to see the next day”.
“You who said Amassoma man will not grow, you self will not grow”. The protesters questioned n the short video f most activities going on in the school will still take place f Alamieseigha was to be alive.
Unfortunately, most of these agitators were the same persons the then management of the university used to fight against students in January-February, 2016 under the then Humphrey Ogoni administration when students were fighting against MPC Law.
According to Don 2 the leader of the protest, the VC is trying to shift the power of the community over the school to Sagbama, that’s why he is blocking the main campus gate, and that if the Late Governor of Bayelsa, Chief DSP Alamieseigha was alive, he wouldn’t have allowed it. He went on to say that the “VC hated the former Governor of Bayelsa State that’s why he is behaving like that”.
According to Don 2, what happened in 2016 wouldn’t be forgotten, that they still remembered how the VC and the former Governor killed their kinsmen, that the blood of their fallen heroes won’t be forgotten easily.
One of their major problem was that, the demonstration carried out by the students didn’t give him the right to lock main campus gate. According to the protesters, both main campus gate and new site gate was locked, why should they open the new site gate and leave main campus gate locked?
The protesters did everything peaceful; they allowed cars in but objected that the only car they won’t allow in is the VC’s car. A white circle was made in front of the school gate, inside the circle was a white sheet of paper with a bottle placed on top and also a native chalk and alligator pepper.
They went to the extent of giving a madman a banner to hold and taking pictures with him, saying VC must die. After a long while of taking pictures, shouting and the rest, they left. While leaving, they took along with them some of their banners and ritual materials, saying no one should lock the gate, that anyone that does so is looking for war, which they are ready to give to the person.
Police vans immediately arrived the scene of the protest after they left and locked the gate back.
When contacted, staff of the VC stated that it was not the VC that locked the gate in the first place, hence, any attempt to drag the VC into this is misplaced. Another staff also suggested it is a politically motivated protest and flagged it off as merely staged
The protest have since subsided with the protesters leaving the man campus gate premises.