Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, stood still on Friday for more than five hours as students and youths youths staged ENDSARS protest, which halted human and vehicular movements in different parts of the city.
The logjam was experienced in Ojoo, Agbowo, Samonda, Sango, Ijokodo, Eleyele, Jericho, Mokola, Total Garden, Orita-Mefa, Agodi-Gate, Yemetu, Bodija, Idi-Ape and other parts of Ibadan.
The protesters, who converged on the main gate of the University of Ibadan had marched through Bodija Market to the headquarters of the Oyo State police command at Eleyele in Ibadan, where they were addressed by the Commissioner of Police, Nwachukwu Ewonwu.
The procession caused congestion on all the major roads passed through by the protesters to Eleyele. They carried placards with inscriptions that included: ‘End police brutality,’ ‘We are Nigerians.’ ‘We are innocent,’ ‘Being a youth is not a criminal offence,’ and ‘Stop killing us.’
The police boss in the state, however, assured the youths that necessary measures have been emplaced to check the excesses of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), noting that two new monitoring units have been established to review SARS operations in the state.
After leaving Eleyele, the protesters also marched to the Oyo State Government secretariat, where they barricaded the road in front of the main gate of the secretariat for many hours. The gates leading the secretariat were locked when some of the youths became unruly and were effectively prevented from gaining access to the secretariat.
But the civil servants and visitors to the secretariat were held to ransom for many hours before the security operatives devised ways for them to exit the secretariat peacefully through exits that the protesters did not know.
Commissioner for Youth and Sports in the state, Mr. Seun Fakorede, however, went to the main gate of the secretariat with a view to addressing the protesting youths, but the protesters did not allow him, saying they wanted either Governor Seyi Makinde or the deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan, to address them.
But Governor Makinde was in Akure, the Ondo State capital, ahead of the governorship election scheduled to hold on Saturday October 10, 2020, as the coordinator for the campaign organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). No government official attended to them thereafter.
The protesters were still at the main gate of the secretariat as at 6:15p.m. on Friday. They mounted a road block and parked their cars on the main road as they protested.