Bola Bamigbola, Peter Dada and Wale Oyewale
One of the leading #EndSARS protesters in Osun State, Omolola Pedro, said five persons lost their lives during the protest in Osogbo, the state capital on Saturday.
Pedro, who disclosed this on Sunday, said apart from the DJ at the event, one Mutiu, Lekan and two unidentified persons also died in the violence that erupted during the protest.
The protest in Osogbo turned violent on Saturday while Oyetola was addressing the protesters at Olaiya Junction. His security men forced the convoy through the crowd while some hoodlums threw missiles at the vehicles.
One person was said to have been shot at Oke Ayepe Area after the incident at Olaiya Junction, as police confirmed two dead during the protest.
But there are claims that the governor’s convoy shot at some of the protesters in a bid to escape after suspected hoodlums pelted the convoy with stones and other objects.
Giving an update on the incident, Padro said, “Five people died; our DJ, one Mutiu, Lekan and two others that we don’t have their identities yet.”
Meanwhile, the Osun State Police Command said no arrest had been made in connection with the violence at the scene of the #EndSARS protest in Osogbo on Saturday.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Yemisi Opalola, in an interview on Sunday, also confirmed that Osun Mall, a shopping complex in Osogbo, was looted by some hoodlums.
She said, “We are still studying the situation but no arrest yet. From the available information, suspected hoodlums also attacked Osun Mall and stole from some shops in the building. But no arrest yet.”
However, the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has condemned Saturday’s attack on the Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, by some suspected #EndSARS protesters in Osogbo.
Akeredolu described the attack as an act of terrorism, which he said, was condemnable.
Similarly, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, described the attack on Oyetola as barbaric, saying that the protesting youth should be law abiding.
Akeredolu’s, who spoke through a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Ojo Oyewamide, on Sunday, explained that the genuine movement had been hijacked by politicians to visit their frustrations on perceived opponents.
The statement titled, ‘EndSARS: Attack on Oyetola, a condemnable act of terrorism’, read, “Undoubtedly, the #EndSARS movement has a popular and receptive attitude to it by majority of Nigerians, including policy makers, who have seen in it, an opportunity to deepen concern and redirect efforts towards veritable reforms aimed at achieving positive results.
“This act is a clear act of terrorism under the guise of a civil and supposedly peaceful protest that has been hijacked by criminals and hoodlums hired by politicians. This is more so, that dangerous weapons were said to have been deployed in the ignoble act.
“Nothing more describes and represents this pernicious act as repulsive. It is, therefore, pertinent to call on the organisers to rein in stakeholders involved in the #EndSARS protests so as to stratify between those with genuine, altruistic desires for reforms and elements, who have offered themselves as mercenaries to unleash mayhem on innocent people.”
Akeredolu warned the youth not to be useful tools in the hands of politicians “at this trying period.”
Reacting to the attack on the Osun State governor, the Olowu of Owu, in a statement made available to journalists by his Press Secretary, Alli Ibraheem, on Sunday, said the circumstances that led to the attack was questionable as only recalcitrant leaders deserved such humiliation.
The statement equally called for an investigation into the circumstance leading to the killing of two persons, urging the police to give true picture of the actual facts behind their death against diverse hearsay surrounding their death.
Oba Akanbi had earlier warned the protesting youth against the likely hijack of the rally by hoodlums, adding that patriotic protesters should exercise caution to avoid “mistaken identity.”
“The attack on Governor Gboyega Oyetola is undeserving and barbaric. In all sincerity, he is a leader by merit. He is a political material that should be encouraged.
“I want to appeal to the protesting youth to act within the ambit of law in the interest of the state that our fathers laboured to build. What you can’t construct, don’t destroy,” the statement read in part.
Earlier, Oyetola had said in a state broadcast that suspected political thugs attacked him at the scene of the protest at Olaiya junction and not youths protesting brutality by the defunct SARS.
The governor promised that the incident would be investigated with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book.
He said, “Yesterday (Saturday) evening, political thugs and hoodlums made failed attempts on my life and those of my aides while identifying with our beloved youths, who were engaging in legitimate protest against the alleged brutality of the now disbanded SARS.
“My entourage and I joined protesters from Alekuwodo area to Olaiya junction, chanting solidarity songs with them and encouraging them along the way.”
Also, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, expressed the government’s commitment to protecting fundamental human right of the citizens and would not infringe on the rights of the people.
He made this known on Sunday while featuring on a Yoruba programme, Koleda, on the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, Osogbo.
Oyintiloye, an ex-lawmaker, described Oyetola as a leader with fat democratic credentials, who would not trample upon the liberty, freedom, and pursuit of goals by the well meaning citizens of the state.