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Varsity shut down by protesters over illegal dismissal

Protesters storm DELSU Oleh Campus over their illegal dismissal and disrupts academic activities at the varsity.

DELSU, Oleh Campus
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Academic activities at the institution were interrupted on Monday, November 7, by the aggrieved workers who are reportedly members of the community in Isoko South council area of the state, Punch reports.

The varsity was overrun by the protesters at about 6:15am, blocking the main entrance to the Law and Engineering faculties, while demanding the reinstatement of the sacked workers.

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Punch reports that the son of the traditional ruler, Prince Obrozie Ovrawah, who was also one of the sacked workers, led the protesters who's employment were also recently terminated by the institution alongside some members of the community.

A source tells Punch that Ovrawah was dismissed over alleged misconduct.

While describing their sack as illegal, the sacked workers accused the vice-chancellor, Prof Victor Peretimode, of playing ethnic politics by  sacking Isoko indigenes and allegedly replacing them with his kinsmen from Ijaw ethnicities secretly.

Pleading anonymity, the source tells Punch, “The Odiologbo’s son (Ovrawah) was a staff at the Oleh campus of DELSU and was fired for alleged misconduct. It was alleged that he mobilised members of the community to protest the sacking of Isoko people. Some private security staff that were also suspended by their employer also joined the protest.

“They barricaded the main entrance of the school early this morning, preventing workers and students from gaining access to the school. But security agents drafted to the area at about 10am were able to disperse the protesters.”

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Ovrawah said that he and the other protesters decided to shut the school gate in protest of the alleged impunity by the university authorities in dismissing four security personnel for allowing him access to the school premises.

“We came here to protest impunity by the university VC who ordered the sack of our brothers. The four security officers are from this community. Their offence is for allowing me to enter the campus to drop my children for school because I sued the school authority for my illegal dismissal. Unlike other campus, the VC brought an Ijaw man to be the Chief Security officer when it is the right of our people (Isoko) to do such a job,” he said.

However, President-General of Oleh Community, James Obeuwou, when contacted, confirmed the incident but claimed that the community had no part in it.

He said, “We are not part of the protest. We cannot block the entrance to our own school. I learnt that a set of aggrieved persons who were recently sacked and some others who were suspended from their duty posts were behind the protest.

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“The security personnel were not full staff of the institution. They were employees of a private security company and were suspended for what I don’t know at the moment. But l can tell you categorically that Oleh community was not a party to the protest.”

The Public Relations Officer, DELSU, Eddy Agbure, is yet to make any comments on the issue.

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