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Makinde urges police to steer clear of protests, deploys Operation Burst

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Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, yesterday, asked officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to provide security during protest by residents of the state, saying other security agencies would play leading roles henceforth.

Makinde stated this during a statewide broadcast at Government House at Agodi, Ibadan, following the clash between police officers and protesters in Ogbomoso at the weekend.

He added that he had deployed officers of the state-owned Operation Burst, to take the front role, while police officers take the back seat as citizens continue to protest peacefully.

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His words: “The past few days have been filled with grief for Oyo people. I cannot imagine the pain and frustration of the parents and families of those who have died or hospitalised as a result of the actions of police officers during the EndSARS protests.

“As I stated in my earlier statement, peaceful protests are a legitimate way for citizens to make their grievances known to government and it is totally unacceptable for anyone to be hurt during such protests. I held an emergency meeting on Sunday with the heads of the security agencies in Oyo State.

“I have again restated my position on the ongoing protests to them. And we have agreed that the police should take a back seat as other security agencies take the frontlines in securing the lives of protesters, at this time.

He added that the state government had deployed members of Operation Burst to flaspoints, especially Ogbomoso, to ensure that as people protest, they would not be unnecessarily harassed or brutalised.

“I reassure the good people of Oyo State that I am doing everything within my powers to ensure that no further lives are lost and I urge all residents to go about their activities without fear.I also urge the protesters to continue to protest peacefully,” he added.

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NPFSeyi Makinde
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