Mr. Seriake Dickson, the Governor of Bayelsa State, has inaugurated a six-member commission of inquiry to unravel the remote causes of civil disturbances and unrest that occurred at the university town of Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, LGA, of the state.
No fewer than five persons reportedly lost their lives while several properties were destroyed in May when a protest by the people of Amassoma escalated against what they termed ‘unjust’ disengagement from the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, in the wake of public service reforms implementation by the government.
Dickson gave the panel a nine-point terms of reference while swearing in its members at a ceremony in Government House, Yenagoa, on Tuesday.
He called on communities hosting tertiary institutions of learning in the state to protect educational institutions located in their areas.
He charged the Commission to also ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the forcible sealing off of, and vandalisation that happened at the NDU hosted by Amassoma.
Dickson urged members of the panel to identify the perpetrators of the unlawful activities and their sponsors if any.
The Governor stressed the need for community leaders to always draw the attention of the state government to any breach of the peace in their localities.
The Commission, which has 30 days to submit its report and findings, is also expected to determine the number and identities of persons injured or killed during the crisis.
It is also expected to ascertain the extent of damage to both public and private property during the incident, and take oral and written evidence.
Dickson advised the people of the state, particularly the youths, not to take laws into their hands but rather collaborate with security personnel to maintain law and order.
He said the Panel would recommend measures aimed at averting future occurrences of such incidents within and around the university.
The panel, which has 30 days to submit its report and findings, is headed by Michael Zuokumor, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, while Godwin Ebikake will serve as Secretary.
Other members are retired Brigadier General Abel Meremu, monarch of Ekpetiama Kingdom, King Bubaraye Dakolo, Arch Bishop Jacob Apiri and Gabriel Apaingolo.