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Police disperse #EndSARS protesters in Osun

By Seye Olumide, Rotimi Agboluaje, Moyosore Salami (Ibadan), Isaac Taiwo, Adelowo Adebumiti, Tosin Adams, Silver Nwokoro (Lagos) and Timothy Agbor (Osogbo)
21 October 2021   |   4:06 am
Osun State was soaked in tension yesterday, as some aggrieved youths shunned police directive banning protest and protested in commemoration of the one year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests in Osogbo.

• Brutalise, arraign journalist for allegedly videoing DPO
• Stakeholders laud Osun youths for convoking summit to commemorate incident 
• Groups condemn Lekki tollgate killings, urge govt to prosecute perpetrators
• Cleric implores govt to give youths hope, future

Osun State was soaked in tension yesterday, as some aggrieved youths shunned police directive banning protest and protested in commemoration of the one year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests in Osogbo.

The youths, who carried banners and placards, chanted anti-government songs as they marched from Ita-Olokan area through Oja-Oba, Station Road, Post Office, Old-Garage and Oke-Fia areas of the town.

When the protesters gathered at Oke-Fia, a team of policemen stormed the environment and dispersed the youths.

However, another team of policemen led by the Divisional Police Officer, Dugbe Division, Osogbo, CSP Oyegbade Akinloye, pounced on a journalist, Sikiru Obarayese, the Correspondent of Daily Post, at Old Garage and assaulted him.

Other journalists covering the protest were said to have fled the scene of the protest to prevent arrest by the police.

Few minutes after Obarayese was arrested and beaten, the DPO ordered some operatives to charge him to court.

The journalist was later arraigned before an Osogbo Magistrate’s Court for allegedly videoing the DPO and assaulting him during the protest.

Magistrate O. A. Daramola, who queried the prosecutor on what prevents the journalist from videoing the DPO if he was not doing anything negative, ordered that the matter be struck out and discharged Obarayese.

MEANWHILE, stakeholders in Osun State have commended youths in the state for embracing dialogue in driving home their agitations. 

They gave the commendation at a stakeholders’ summit in Osogbo organised by the Osun Civil Society Movement to mark the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Omotosho Oluyemi, who hailed the courageous citizens for congregating to mark the anniversary in a peaceful and orderly manner, lamented that the issues that led to the protest were yet to be resolved and abated. 

A group, the Youth Rights Campaign (YRC), has condemned the brutal and unprovoked attack on peaceful protesters and journalists at Lekki tollgate by the police.

In a statement yesterday, YRC National Co-ordinator, Adaramoye Michael Lenin and Secretary, Francis Nwapa, condemned the arrest, assault and seizure of journalists’ equipment as well as shooting at peaceful protesters at the tollgate.

ALSO, a civil society organisation, Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN) urged government to prosecute the perpetrators of Lekki tollgate killings, strengthen and provide adequate support for the panels of investigation to carry out their mandate timeously and award compensation to victims and their families.

HRAN, in a statement through its Co-ordinator, Chisom Ihekwaba, said the reform of the Nigeria Police Force would be the most remarkable and respectable way to honour the memories of young Nigerians who were killed in the struggle.

IN Ibadan, Oyo State capital, thousands of youths besieged strategic locations in the town to stage rallies.

The protesters assembled on Iwo Road and from there walked to the Government House, Agodi, to register their grievances, especially the demand for release of some of the #EndSARS protesters who were still in detention.

In a statement to mark the exercise, President, Centre for Change, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said: “We remember all the young Nigerians killed or maimed during the #EndSARS protests a year ago in bizarre circumstances.”

The General Overseer, God is Able Evangelical Mission, Rev. Timothy Akinola Agbe, has called on the government to consider the plight of the youths and give them hope, sense of belonging as well as the bright future they are agitating for.

Agbe, who stated this at a media briefing to announce the 30th Anniversary of God is Able Evangelical Mission coming up between November 1 and November 7, 2021, which coincides with his 70th birthday anniversary, lamented the state of the youths in the country and asked the government to give them a chance.