Isoken Nosa-Odia, a member of the women’s national handball team, says hoodlums were paid to attack #EndSARS protesters on Friday in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Nosa-Odia, who plays for Israeli side Hapeol Kiryat-Ono, is part of the protesters in the state calling for an end to police brutality, extortion, and extrajudicial killings across the country.
But the peaceful protests turned awry on Friday with two protesters killed and several others seriously wounded.
Nosa-Odia, who carried a placard with the inscription, ‘We refuse to be intimidated! #EndSWAT #EndBadGovernance’, said the hoodlums disrupted the protests along Plymouth Road.
She stated in a post on her Facebook page, “So, I decided to join the Benin City protest today (Friday) after being down for more than a week (health issue) to lend my voice and that of the thousands of youths that were present today to be heard. But it was a sad story to tell.”
The veteran of three African Games added, “Hoodlums were paid to attack peaceful protesters with guns, cutlasses, which resulted in one dead and few others seriously injured. These hoodlums are youths from Benin, they came through Plymouth Road to attack protesters, stopping and pursuing us from gaining access to Airport Road and distracting us from what the protest was about.
“This obviously was the reason they were paid, youths were paid to attack youths at King Square.”
She added that the hoodlums’ attack went unabated for three hours in front of the state’s House of Assembly, describing it as a “set-up.”
“I believe it was a set up and a plan to reduce the youths by killing them, this time using their fellow youths so that govt cannot be held responsible, because the pursuit, chaos, and attack lasted for more than three hours right in front of the House Of Assembly and the (Oba of Benin’s) palace.
“Were these places empty? May the souls of the departed Rest In Peace.”