IYC condemns shooting of protesting Delta students at DESOPADEC headquarters …Calls for justice
By Bella Moses
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Western Zone, has condemned the shooting of students during Wednesday’s protest by Delta state students at the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, DESOPADEC, headquarters in Warri.
The students were protesting the non-payment of 3 years bursary by the commission.
In a release signed by Dr. Doubra Okotete, chairman; Comrade Lugard Izoukumor, Information Officer; and Comrade Ekereke Onduke Tamaraukuro, the student rep, on 16th June 2022, they said: “IYC Western Zone, yesterday’s night was inundated with calls on how students of Delta State were shot by security men attached to Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC) while on a peaceful protest by the students, demanding the payment of their bursary that was approved since 2019, which had not been paid by the commission.
“It is, indeed, despicable that the protest, which started as a peaceful demand by these students for Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC) to pay their bursary ended up with police brutality.
“The right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed by Section 40 of Nigeria’s Constitution, the United Nations Universal Declarations on Human Rights, the African Union Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and other relevant international conventions. The use of live bullets to suppress and harm peaceful protesters is a high crime against the people of Nigeria and must be roundly condemned by all patriots and lovers of democracy. Hence, we condemn this dastardly act, in strong terms, and urge H.E Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and the Commissioner of Police, CP Ari Muhammed Ali, to make a far-reaching investigation for justice to be served.
“Given the above, we also feel disappointed by the administrative governance of misrule by the MD/CEO of the Commission, Bashorun Askia Ogieh, over his approach to the welfare of Delta State students. It is unfortunate to note that when tuition fees in Delta State are skyrocketing, the commission would still find it insensitive not to pay a pot of cash since 2019.
“Finally, the strive for a just, equitable, and prosperous Delta State is a task we all must achieve but this cannot be realized in a situation of anarchy. We all must exercise restraint and do the needful. In service to justice, therefore, we enjoin the commission to take full responsibility for the injured students and reach out to the leadership to resolve this crisis peacefully and amicably,” they concluded.