A crisis may be brewing over the planned relocation of the Bayelsa State College of Education from Okpoama in Brass Local Council to Governor Henry Seriake Dickson’s hometown, Turu-Orua in Sagbama Council.
Yesterday a 32 year-old man, Alfred Tamide, staged a one-man protest match against the plan at the premises of the State House of Assembly. The man, who claimed to be a student and an indigene of Okpoama, reportedly arrived the main entrance of the Assembly complex armed with placards with inscription, “Leave COE in Okpoama”, “Why play Politics with Education, Dickson leave COE in Okpoama” and “Assembly, please reject relocation plan”.
However, the one-man protest did not stop the state House of Assembly from debating the amendment Bill submitted by the governor for the relocation and renaming of the institution.The Bill was referred to the House Committee on Education for consideration and submission to the House next Tuesday.
While the member representing Brass Constituency 2, Chief Amalayon Yousuo opposed it, the Leader of the House and member representing Sagbama 2 Constituency, Peter Akpe led other members to seek the passage of the necessary amendments needed for the relocation of the institution.
In his contribution, Yousuo argued that the amendment needed and the proposed relocation was based on faulty claims and should be turned down. “The whole of Bayelsa is surrounded by water. Are we saying that the people of Okpoama will not benefit from social amenities because they are surrounded by water? We all know that the host community of Okpoama is not responsible for the building of roads but the State Government,” he said.
Earlier in his contribution, Akpe, who led other members including Tonye Emmanuel Eseina (KOLGA 1) and Gentleman Emela (Yenagoa 3), argued that the overwhelming support of members to the proposed relocation was based on the need to give the institution a legal backing on the proper composition of the various departments and management bodies and ensure that it becomes attractive to students and staff.