Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has sworn in a six-member commission of inquiry, to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the civil disturbances and unrest which occurred in Amassoma, host community of the state-owned Niger Delta University (NDU), in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
Dickson, who gave the charge in a nine-point terms of reference to the commission, during the swearing in ceremony of its members in Government House, Yenagoa, called on communities hosting tertiary institutions in the state to protect educational institutions cited in their areas.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Francis Ottah Agbo, said Dickson called on the commission to identify the perpetrators of the unlawful activities and their sponsors if any.
Dickson was said to have seized the opportunity to remind community leaders to always draw the attention of the state government to any breach to peace in their localities.
The commission of inquiry, which is expected to determine the number and identities of persons injured or killed during the civil disturbances, is also to determine the extent of damage to property, both public as well as private, if any, during the incident.
Dickson charged the people of the state, particularly youths, not to take laws into their hands, but, rather collaborate with security personnel, to maintain law and order.
He urged the commission of inquiry to recommend measures aimed at averting future occurrences of such incidents within and around the NDU and its host communities, as well as make any other recommendations which may be deemed fit in the circumstances.
The governor said the commission shall take evidence, in writing and orally, to enable it perform its task diligently.
He also directed the commission to submit its report and findings within 30 days from the date of its first sitting.
Dickson also met with stakeholders of Amassoma community on the need to keep the peace and work with government for the stability and progress of the state.
Chairman of the commission is the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Michael Zuokumor (retd), while Mr. Godwin Ebikake is to serve as secretary.
Other members are Brigadier General Abel Meremu (retd), Ibedaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, King Bubaraye Dakolo, Arch. Bishop Jacob Apiri and Chief Gabriel Apaingolo.