The Bayelsa State Government has assured indigenes and residents of one of the host communities to the Niger Delta University (NDU), Amassoma, of adequate protection from hoodlums and cultists in the community.
The government urged all residents of the community to go about their normal activities without fear of intimidation or harassment.
It said the reaction of the Bayelsa State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) to the NDU crisis is a vindication of Governor Seriake Dicksonâ€™s position that the APC in Bayelsa is a party of criminals.
A statement signed by APC chieftain Doifie Ola Buokoribo, had claimed that the hoodlums who attempted to disarm the police of their arms and died in the process were APC executive members of the party in the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor of Public Affairs, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said in a statement yesterday that the security personnel deployed in Amassoma were on duty to ensure protection of lives and property, including the NDU, which is a state government investment.
Alabrah called on leaders of the community to collaborate with security operatives to ensure residents are protected and to go about their businesses without any hindrance.
He stressed that intelligence reports indicate that those involved in the Amassoma incident on Tuesday were cultists and hoodlums, who hijacked complaints from the ongoing implementation of the public sector reforms in the state to perpetrate acts of violence in the community.
Alabrah stated further that the hoodlums attacked and vandalised the police division, part of the university and attempted to disarm security personnel who were deployed to keep the peace.
He also said these elements were not staff of the NDU and are not affected by the reforms.
â€œGovernment calls on natives and residents of Amassoma to go about their normal activities without fear of intimidation and molestation from cultists and hoodlums that wreaked violence in the community on Tuesday.
â€œThe deployment of security operatives in Amassoma after about three weeks of the standoff is to protect law-abiding citizens of the community, their property and the NDU. The security people are on ground to protect them.
â€œGovernment implores the community leaders to work with the security operatives to maintain peace and public order in the community.
â€œIt should be noted that these cultists are not employees of the NDU and could not have been affected by the implementation of the reforms in the institution.
â€œGovernmentâ€™s position is that the NDU, like all other institutions, is a property of the state government. And government expects the leaders of the host communities to give support to the university rather than dabbling into employment matter within the university,â€ Alabrah said.