Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Fresh facts have emerged that the recent unrest at Amassoma, host community of the Niger Delta University (NDU), was an action carried out over the ‘cold war’ between two traditional stools in the community.
This was even as the Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) has insisted that 10 people were killed during the unrest.
The Commission, headed by DIG Michael Zuokumor (rtd), listened as the two traditional rulers, Amananawei of Ogboin Clan, His Royal Majesty Chief Jones Ere, and loyalists to the Amananaowei of Amassoma Community His Royal Highness, Major Graham Naingba (rtd), engaged in recriminations over the role played by their supporters in fuelling the crisis.
The Commission was told how factions of the two traditional rulers belonging to the vigilance groups, were engaged in a battle for supremacy which led to shooting and death of some people.
Zuokumor, in an interview, expressed confidence that the Commission would get to the root cause of the crisis with the revelations being made by those summoned to give evidence before the panel.
Meanwhile, the CLO, which submitted a memorandum by its Chairman, Chief Nengi James, stated that 10 people were killed during the Amassoma crisis.
James told the Commission that the rights group carried out on-the-spot assessment to unearth facts and realised that the 10 people that were killed were actually involved in a protest against the Bayelsa State Government’s reforms which affected about 1, 200 workers of the University.
The CLO leader said the body was not interested in stirring further trouble but to ensure that justice is done for those that lost their lives.
James, who submitted photographs and burial posters of some of the deceased, faulted the Police for firing live bullets at the porters, and insisted that Police bullets killed the deceased.
The panel, after rounding off, with the summons is expected to visit Amassoma community as part of its fact finding to get to the root of the crisis.