A 34-year-old graduate, Mr. Oyeghe Bineabi Miederi, who last Thursday began an indefinite hunger strike to draw public attention to his frustration at being unemployed six years after graduation, was arrested at the weekend and later released on bail.
Oyeghe, who hails from Foropa Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state, told journalists in Yenagoa that he was tired of living without a job six years after graduation.
He was arrested at the government house gate on Saturday as he tried to gain entrance to brief the state governor, Seriake Dickson about his plight.
A source among the security operatives at the government house gate confirmed to Citizen Confidential that Oyeghe was released on bail before the end of Sunday. According to the source, “what he was trying to do (gain entry into the government house) constitute a security risk that could breach security, so we had to act.”
Following his release, Oyeghe vowed to keep up his hunger strike until the government addresses his problem or until he dies.
He had told reporters on Thursday that “The State Government should give me an unconditional employment as a citizen of this state, why should they continue to deny me job because of my hearing impairment. I will remain on hunger strike if nothing is done,” he said.
Oyeghe, who holds a first degree and masters in Literature from the Niger Delta University and Ahmadu Bello University respectively, said that he was born with the defect, which he said, had never hindered his human capability.
He said he had attended numerous job interviews both in government and private establishments, stressing that “but at the end they will deny me the job because I have hearing defect. It is really frustrating and I am tired.”
“Only recently, I attended an interview during a government recruitment, after the exercise, people with third-class were offered employment, but I was denied even with my second-class honours just because I have a natural impairment in hearing.”
He called on the Bayelsa state government to give him a job, or better still to offer him scholarship to go for a Doctorate degree programme, stressing that he may have to remain on hunger till the end.
Oyeghe said unemployment left many youths like him poor and frustrated in a state that was in dire need of intellectual inputs.
“In a state like this, if you want to get a job, you either have a permanent secretary or must know a politician before you can get any help. But fortunately, with my education, I am roaming about like a tout because of social injustice in the system,” he said.
He expressed sadness that establishments had used his situation to discriminate against him in all the attempts he had made at securing a job in the state, saying: “in many occasions, my problem has become a form of discrimination by employers”.
Oyeghe, a father of one, called on the State Government to do something urgently, adding that he had written two books that remained in manuscripts, due to a lack of funds to publish them.