NDU Unrest: Police Say Armed Criminals Infiltrated Bayelsa Varsity Town

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The police in Bayelsa alleged Monday that armed criminals invaded the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island in Amassoma, Southern Ijaw, to infiltrate the ranks of the protesting workers and cause the recent mayhem in the area.

Commissioner of Police, Mr Don Awunah, also warned against using the creative industry and the social media to incite members of the public and cause disaffection in Amassoma and in the state.

Yesterday’s warning is coming against the backdrop that a popular Ijaw musician from Delta State had waxed a record on the crisis which would further raise already existing tension in the area.

“The preliminary investigation conducted into the labour dispute between Niger Delta University (NDU) Authority and the non-academic staff union over interpretations of the Bayelsa State Government Public Service Reforms indicates that the violence witnessed in course of Police peaceful intervention was a direct aftermath of infiltration of Amassoma community and its environs by unidentified armed men from outside the university town, who were firing sporadically across the town.

“The Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State CP Don N. Awunah, has set up an investigation team headed by as Assistant Commissioner of Police to conduct a thorough inquiry with a view of unmasking those armed whose premeditated action and orchestrated violence triggered the crises that caused destruction of properties and temporarily disrupted the peace of the university town,” he said.

A statement by Asinim Butswat, spokeman of the command, urged the  people of Amassoma in particular and Bayelsa in general to go about their lawful business as peace and security has been fully restored in the community.
“It is important the members of Amassoma community and persons of goodwill assist and avail the investigation team with information to unmask the armed bandits in order to face the full wrath of the law.”

In a similar development, the police said the law enforcement agencies in the state were aware that some elements are attempting to use the creative industry in Bayelsa and neighbouring states and the social media to incite the members of the public, cause disaffection and pitch Amassoma community against each other.

“The music, film industry and the art generally must not be used to promote violence, insecurity and foist social tension in whatever form or manner. The creative industry is expected to add value to development, growth and security of the community rather than elevating divisive tendencies and use of music to spread falsehoods.

“The Bayelsa State Police Command will not fold its hands and allow any person or group of persons disrupt the peace and security currently being enjoyed in the state. All police formations, units and tactical teams have been activated to deal decisively with mischief makers throughout the state within the framework of the law.

“The command commends all law-abiding citizens and residents of Bayelsa for their cooperation and understanding and  most importantly the assistance and support given to the police which has been instrumental in the remarkable achievements recorded so far in the area of community engagement, maintenance of law and order.
“The officers and men of the command are irrevocably determined to discharge their statutorily duties with utmost professionalism and best international standards,” said the police.