ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JNAPWD) Bayelsa State chapter, on Wednesday went on the rampage over the alleged suspension of a member, Mr Numuworimi Yeitaribo, Deputy Bursar of the state-owned Niger Delta University, Amassoma, by the institution’s management.
The protest came after over three months when they demonstrated at the Government House gate to ventilate their grievances over an alleged plan to deprive Yeitaribo from contesting the Bursar’s position because of his physical disability.
Vehicular and economic activities were grounded as the protesters took over major streets and roads in Yenagoa and Amassoma.
Commuters traveling to the University town of Amassoma and Tombia in Southern Ijaw and Yenagoa Local Government Areas of the state were stranded for hours along the Edepie area as the protest lasted.
It was gathered that Yeitaribo was allegedly barred from contesting for the vacant position of a substantive bursar of the institution on account of his disability.
The protesters who converged on the popular Tombia Roundabout where they staged their protest were led by the State Chairman, JNAPLWD, Mr. Eric Ikilowei.
The protesters brandished placards with various inscription such as: “VC Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo lift the malicious suspension”, “Prof. Samuel Gowon Go, We don’t want you again,” “NDU VC is highhanded,” “Save Our Souls Governor Douye Diri,” among others.
It was learnt that the policemen on the ground to maintain law and order allegedly fired teargas to disperse the protesters after failed attempts by some senior officers to bring the protest to a halt.
Ikilowei said the protest was called after several efforts to reach out to the state government to wade in the matter did not yield any fruit.
He, however, appealed to Governor Douye Diri to intervene in the matter and caution the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo, to do the needful if he wanted peace.
He also demanded the reinstatement of the deputy bursar of the institution.