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Police allegedly kill one, injure four during okada riders’ protest in Ogun

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Some trigger-happy policemen attached to Adigboluja Police Station at Ojodu, Berger area of Ogun State have allegedly shot and killed a motorcycle rider and injured three others.

It was learnt that the motorcyclists were protesting against hike in ticket fee imposed on them by a newly created body called Riders and Owners of Motorcycle Organisation (ROMO) by the Ogun State government.

The motorcyclists were said to be paying N200 as ticket fee before the establishment of ROMO, but the ticket fee was increased to N500 yesterday, which the riders rejected, leading to the clash.

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According to one of the riders, Kunle Idowu, they were protesting against the imposition at about 10:00 a.m. when members of the ROMO arrived their park to stop them from protesting.
 
Idowu said an argument ensued between the ROMO officials and the riders, after which the ROMO team members left, but a while later, they returned with a team of policemen from Adigboluja Police Station to disperse them from protesting.
 
“When the policemen arrived, they didn’t tell us to stop protesting or called to speak with our leaders. They suddenly just started spraying teargas on us and shooting indiscriminately. It was in the process that a stray bullet hit one of us called Abdullahi and injured four others.
 
“Some of the policemen also beat up our members who couldn’t run and took away many motorcycles. I don’t know why they are treating us like this? We are also citizens of this country and we are law-abiding.”
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Another rider, who identified himself simply as Olope, said they were picking passengers at Kosoko Junction, opposite Just Rite Mall, the boundary between Lagos and Ogun, when they saw some members of the ROMO who said they were in Ogun State border and as such, should pay more ticket fees.
 
“We were trying to pacify them that the money imposed on us is much when suddenly, the policemen that followed the ROMO team started seizing our motorcycles because we told them we cannot afford the N500 ticket imposed on us. The policemen left with our motorcycles.
 
“They took about 100 motorcycles away to their station. Some of our members who later went to their station to get their bikes were sprayed with teargas and beaten by the policemen, just because we refused to accept the money imposed on us. The Ogun State government and the Commissioner of Police should intervene in our matter. We are not criminals; we don’t want to go into crime, and that was why we took to okada riding.”
 
When contacted, the spokesman of the state police command, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said he had not been briefed of the incident as of then.

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