Up to three persons were on Tuesday feared killed following a clash between security operatives and kinsmen of late former Governor Diepreye Alamiyeiseigha in Amassoma, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State. The clash, which reportedly started in the morning at the gate of the state-owned Niger Delta University (NDU), was said to have left many people injured. It was gathered that the university community was thrown into tension as sporadic gunshots and fired teargas canisters caused panic among the residents. The problem was said to have started when a detachment of armed security operatives, who arrived the community early in the morning, forcefully opened the gate of the troubled school. The school was shut down by aggrieved community women, whose names were removed from NDU’s payroll after they were indicted by the ongoing public sector reforms of Governor Seriake Dickson. The women, who insisted that their names must be returned to the payroll against civil service rules, were said to have hired the services of a welder to permanently seal the university’s gate. To find an amicable resolution to the issues, the government recently dispatched a team of negotiators led by the Chief of Staff, Talford Ongolo and the Commissioner for Education to meet with the protesters and the host community. It was gathered that among the resolutions of the parley were agreements that the university should review the fate of the sacked workers and suspend the protest to allow academic activities resume in the university. Despite the agreements, the host community continued with its protest refusing to unseal the gate of NDU. The protesters including women and youths were said to be angry when they woke up in the morning to discover that the school’s gate was forcefully opened and surrounded by scores of heavily armed security operatives.

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