Scores of Bayelsa youths on Thursday, staged a peaceful protest to demand for the appointment of indigenes into management positions in the Federal University, Otuoke (FUO).
They accused the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, of marginalising the host state and alleged that none of the principal officers in the institution was from Bayelsa.
The protesters converged on the main campus of FUO in the early hours and locked the gate against staff and students.
They proceeded from the main campus to the administrative buildings area where they were denied entry as the gate had been locked by some security personnel who got wind of the protest.
The protest, though peaceful, caused panic among residents of Otuoke as business operators promptly closed shop apparently for fear that hoodlums could take advantage of the situation to look.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “Bayelsa youths say no to change of principal officers from Bayelsa”, “Registrar is not a Bayelsan. He is short-changing Bayelsans”, “Leave our woman bursar alone’’.
Others read: “We need equal representation in the management of FUO, Otuoke”, “IYC declares war if bursar and librarian are changed” and “VC and registrar must go now, Enough is enough”.
The President, National Union of Bayelsa State Students (NUBSS), Mr Richard Lawyer, who led the action, said that they were using the peaceful protest to send a strong message to Aluko and the school management.
He alleged that the vice chancellor removed the acting bursar, who is an indigene.
He also alleged that Aluko manipulated the retention of his godsons for the post of director, physical planning and development and that of university librarian, who are non-indigenes.
Lawyer said that the people of the state would not accept the arrangement in which principal offices including heads of departments were occupied by non-indigenes.
He said that they were dissatisfied with the way Aluko had been running the university, stressing that the marginalisation of Bayelsa people must stop.
He insisted that the acting bursar from Bayelsa must be retained.
“All sensitive positions in this university are occupied by non-Bayelsans; this not right. And it will not happen in our time.
“What is happening in Federal University, Otuoke will define the future of Bayelsans. But Bayelsa state students, youths and women leaders will resist it.
“We are not happy with the way the VC and his people have been running the affairs of the university. We are warning every one of them who is behind this marginalisation to stop.
“Even if the bursar will be replaced, her replacement must come from Bayelsa,” the students leader said.
However, the Registrar of FUO, Mr David Suowari, who spoke on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, denied and dismissed the allegations of the protesting students.
He said that the university authorities had no hand in the appointment of any principal officers.
Suowari explained that all such appointments were made by the Federal Government.
APPLY: WTO opens entry for 2022 young professionals programme
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has opened applications for its 2022 Young Professional Programme (YPP).
The programme provides opportunity for young professionals to enhance their knowledge of the organisation and international trade issues.
In 2021, 14 professionals out of 2,400 candidates were selected for the programme from Bangladesh, Belize, Dominican Republic, Eswatini, Guatemala, Georgia, Indonesia, Malawi, Mauritania, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Chinese Taipei and Thailand.
WTO said “The YPP is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience which can help open the door for future professional opportunities in the field of multilateral diplomacy and global trade.
“The YPP selection gives preference to young professionals from developing and least-developed countries that are members of the WTO and whose nationals are currently under-represented or not represented in the organization’s Secretariat.
“The programme is part of the Secretariat’s overall goal to increase its diversity to better reflect the make-up of its membership.”
To be eligible, applicants must be of age 32 as of January 1, 2022, and selected candidates will work at the WTO secretariat for one year, starting from the beginning of next year.
The areas of work at the programme includes accessions, agriculture, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights, market access, media and external relations, WTO rules, trade and development, trade and environment, trade in services and investment, trade facilitation, trade policy analysis and trade-related technical assistance.
WTO said candidates must have advanced university degree in law, economics, or other international trade-related subjects relevant to WTO work; must possess relevant expertise or continued academic study in a field of interest to the work of the WTO.
Equally, candidates must similarly have a minimum of two years relevant work experience.
The trade organisation further said selected candidates will be paid $3821.66 (N1,454,141.63 million) monthly and applications can be accessed on the WTO e-Recruitment website and should be completed no later than 29 April 2021.
Buhari receives briefing from Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President had last Thursday returned to the country after a16-day medical trip to London, United Kingdom.
He left Nigeria on Tuesday, March 30, briefly after a security meeting with defense and intelligence chiefs as well as other security sector managers.
Gunmen attack Imo police station, kidnap officer
A police officer has been abducted in an attack on Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state on Thursday morning.
This comes three days after the state Police Command headquarters and Owerri Correctional Center were attacked while 1,884 inmates released.
A resident of Mbieri said the gunmen released the suspects in custody.
However, the policemen on duty were said to have engaged the attackers in a gun duel but they were reportedly overpowered by the gunmen who had sophisticated weapons.
A community leader, Nokey Ebikam, told newsmen that the police divisional headquarters was not burnt but only freed the suspects in detention after vandalizing it.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attack on the police station but did not go into details.
It was gathered that aside the officer who was abducted, two others sustained injuries in the incident which is the second major attack on a police station since an armed gang invaded the state police headquarters on Monday.
The Police authorities have blamed the attacks on the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) but the group has distanced itself from the attacks.
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