#EndSARS: Protesters Condemn Criminalisation Of Peaceful Protest In Osun, Demand Review Of Judicial Panel

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A group of protesters in Osun State has called out on the Gboyega-led-government to stop further bid at repressing peaceful protest by youths to end police brutality, extrajudicial killings, bad governance amidst other laid out demands.

The EndSARS protest, which took place across the country, was recalled to have met with violent attacks where at least two persons were reportedly shot and killed in Oshogbo, the state capital, by security operatives attached to Governor Oyetola, while he was dispersing #EndSARS protesters.

In defense, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ismail Omipidan, had ruled out the involvement of security personnel attached to the governor in the killings edging on an earlier issued statement by the state APC to warn the public on attacks by hoodlums sympathetic to a political party.

However, the Osun state government, in a statement signed by its Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode, on Sunday, had moved on to suppress further demonstrations under the pre-empt of instigated violence on the state by hoodlums.

SEE ALSO: Osun Govt Warns Against Another Round Of Protest, Violence

The group spokesperson, Olawale Adebayo Bakare (Mandate), in a statement, had moved on to reiterate their determination to have their voices heard despite.

The statement partly reads, “We seek protection under the law against the anti-democratic tendencies in Osun State, after the callous and incompetent supervision of Alh. Gboyega Oyetola to repress, threaten, and attack peaceful protesters. It’s quite unfortunate that the individuals who are supposed to be the custodian of democracy and preserve law and order are rather found culpable of unleashing terror on peaceful protesters, plus setting up a kangaroo leadership to mischievously misrepresent the movement.


“As peaceful agitating youths, we have been engaging in demonstrations since the emergence of EndSARS protest nationwide. Unfortunately, we have wild and rude leadership. Yemi Lawal, Commissioner for Youth and Sport had no intelligent response to answer the youths of Osun but called us a set of irresponsible youths of Nigeria. The unruly and unprofessional way of engagement of Yemi Lawal would not be overlooked and condoled.

“We don’t rob egos but as progressive youths, having known that the government was supposed to meet us for our demands, but out of cheer irresponsible governance, they resort to using thugs to bully the protesters and selling false narrative to the media space with help of their paid propagandists parading themselves as the leadership of the movement.

“We tried to communicate our demands to them but we were met with disgraceful and embarrassing words from a supposed Commissioner of Youths and Sports. Also, this same Yemi Lawal masterminded the kangaroo Judicial Panel of Inquiry where he added his own boys who were never seen at the barricade or even sympathized with EndSARS protesters from start. Yemi Lawal is a notorious person in Osun and must be held accountable for any violence that may spring up in any action. We first demand that Yemi Lawal be sacked from office for working against the Osun State Citizens and demonstrating traits that greatly violate the ethos of omoluabi.

“Adding salts to injury, the Government of Alh Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola has contracted the military and other forces in the State to gag us from expressing our grievances. It is not new to the people of Osun where the government will call on the military to dehumanize and violate the rights of the citizens as seen in the Ilesha saga during the curfew in the viral video. We will remain peaceful and always remain as such but the government must understand that this state is better run based on law and not hooliganism or gangsterism as the right of the people to protest is constitutionally guaranteed.”

The group further moved on to restate their demand on the reconstitution of the Judicial Panel of Enquiry set up to arrest and prosecute identified hoodlums, and officers found guilty of any allegation.

“We hereby call for the immediate and unconditional review of this Judicial Panel of Enquiry. We request that no panelist must have controversial antecedents and track records of service must be acceptable to the protesters. We emphatically demand that the protesters should also be adequately and satisfactorily represented in the Judicial Panel of Enquiry as a way to encourage transparency. We also demand that every sitting of the Judicial Panel of Enquiry which must comprise of persons of integrity and moral excellence must be aired and televised live for all the people of Osun and Nigeria at large to follow.”

Understanding that the citizens of the state were recuperating on commercial loss and hardship subjected to by the imposed curfew, the group enjoined citizens to go about their lawful businesses without fear or intimidation.

 

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