Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
One of the participants in the #EndSARS protest in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, lost his life on Saturday, while another protester was injured during what was described as a confrontation with the police.
Pandemonium had ensued when the protesters stormed the entrance of Owode Ogbomoso Area Command/Police Station in Ogbomoso with the intention to register their presence. The gate of the Command was said to have been shut against the protesters, preventing them from gaining entrance into the premises.
Some of the protesters were accused of pelting the facility with stones, a provocative action the police repelled with teargas. In the process, one person, identified as an indigene of Ogbomoso, was shot dead, while another protester, identified as a student of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, was also said to have been shot in the leg and has been hospitalised.
The protest was said to have taken off in LAUTECH area, from where they marched to notable places in the town, including the palace of the Soun of Ogbomoso, before the protesters eventually moved to the Police Area Command.
Some reports indicate that hoodlums had hijacked the protest from the organisers. “Yahoo boys”, thieves and cultists were said to have seen an opportunity in the #EndSARS protest to free some detainees at the area command.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police Nwachukwu Enwonwu has dismissed the trending story and video clip on social media that the police killed a protester during the #EndSARS protest in Ogbomoso, describing the story and the video clip as a lie.
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A statement issued by Command spokesman Olugbenga Fadeyi reads in part:
‘The CP wishes to state that the police allowed the protesters to express their feelings during the protest and they were not hindered in any form until when they started throwing stones into the police premises and attempted to gain entrance into the premises.
‘The police, in turn, used tear gas to disperse them from gaining entrance into the Owode Ogbomoso Area Command/Police Station to disperse them and preventing them from gaining entrance and attacking the station. The police did not fire a shot or kill any protester as widely circulated.
‘The CP in his earlier press release had sought for collaborations of parents/guardians, religious and community leaders, leaders of thought and so on to wade in and appeal to these angry youths to exercise patience, give the police high command some time to properly reform SARS.
‘He has equally warned social miscreants/disgruntled elements to steer clear of the state as the police in Oyo Stage will not fold their arms and allow the breakdown of law and order, while he assures the good people of Oyo State to go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestations from any quarters.’
A Nollywood star, Mrs Toyin Abraham, led a #EndSARS protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Saturday, following the criticisms against the promotion of her new movie, “Fate of Alakada”. This came a day after some young people protested in Ibadan and caused a standstill in the city for more than five hours, demanding for an end to SARS.
In a video clip that she posted on her Twitter page, she said: ‘I am more than my movies. I am an instrument for change and a destiny implementer. You can do this. Love you all. #EndSARS.’