The siege laid by youths on the Nigerian Ports Authority complex, Onne ended violent on Friday when some youths set fire on a hotel owned by a chief in the community.
The youths had on Monday under the #EndSARS protest blocked the roundabout leading to the NPA complex, regarded as the second largest port in Nigeria to add their voice to the nationwide protests by Nigerian youths to call for the disbandment of the Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS.
The action paralysed activities at the ports’ complex housing the Federal Ocean Terminal, the Federal Lighter Terminal, Intels Services and the Oil and Gas Free Zone.
By Wednesday, the protest had taken a new twist as the youths moved to gate of the complex and prevented workers from gaining entry. They placed a casket and other fetish materials at the gate.
Their demands then changed from #EndSARS to specific community demands like employment, corporate social responsibility, review of Intels’ charges on companies using the port complex and reduction of the customs charges on customs agents.
The new dimension did not go down well with all the youths, some of who withdrew. By Thursday evening some of the youths cleared the casket and fetish materials from the ports complex gate and threw the gates open.
The other faction got angry and allegedly accused the former faction of compromising with the management of NPA. They also accused the son of the traditional ruler of complicity in collapse of the protest and so they marched on his hotel, Nana Hotel in the town and set fire to it.
In the pandemonium that followed, soldiers keeping guard at the ports were called in to stop the escalating violence. One person was said to have sustained gunshot injury in the melee.