Protesters in Edo Turn Protest into Funfair


*  Kwara gov condemns attacks on protesters

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

The #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria, mostly youths, have turned the busy Ekenwan road in Benin-city, Edo State, to football pitch as they also created bonfires and prepared rice on the road to feed themselves.

This is coming as the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, yesterday condemned the attacks on the peaceful #EndSARS protesters in some parts of Ilorin, the state capital, describing the violent attacks as despicable and intolerable.

In Edo State, the bonfire and complete blockage of the sloppy end of the road hindered commuters going to Upper Ekewan road, Ugbiyioko, Evbuotubu, and other areas, as some were seen stranded while other came down from the vehicle coming from Ring Road (centre of the city) and started trekking several kilometres before getting another vehicles to their destinations.

The protesting youths demanded totally reformation of the Nigeria Police, government agencies, parastatals, and complete restructuring of the Nigeria state.

Speaking to journalists on behalf of the protesters, Collins Omorogie said though the protest was against the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) and its injustice meted on Nigerians, “the injustice in the country as of today cuts across board, hence they are demanding justice in all spheres.”

Omorogie, who wrapped himself with the Nigeria green and white wrapper during the protest, said injustice is apparent across the three arms of government in the country.

“The injustices in our three arms of government and in other areas are what we are protesting against today in the strongest term. We are saying ‘no to corruption, nepotism, embezzlement, quack leadership among other anomalies,” he stated.

The mouthpiece of the protesters lamented that even with the high number of educated people in the country, unemployment is going higher, as he further lamented that people in less developed countries with lesser education live better than Nigerians.

He said the act of knowing influential persons in the country before an ordinary person could get to a position or better job should put to an end.

According to him, “We are calling for a better Nigeria; we are calling for a country whereby a son of the ordinary man who has the right qualities and qualifications can assume the helms of affairs and determined what happened in the country and give us good governance.

“Part of this protest is for the reformation of our police force. There are also government agencies, parastatals that need total reform. But most importantly, we are protesting and demanding the total restructuring of the country. We need a government that is corrupt-free. We need a government that wouldn’t embezzle the people’s funds. We need a government that will say no to nepotism.”

Meanwhile, in the Kwara State, the Governor, AbdulRazaq, yesterday condemned the attacks on the peaceful #EndSARS protesters in Ilorin, describing the violent attacks as despicable and intolerable.

THISDAY checks revealed that some hoodlums were said to have attacked some protesters at the Post Office area in Ilorin while protesting yesterday.

During the incident, scores of protesters were said to have sustained injuries and are now hospitalised in one of the private hospitals in Ilorin.

But, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, in a chat with journalists yesterday, said he was not aware of the attack on the protesters.

However, in a statement issued in Ilorin by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, he said: “I vehemently denounce the violent attacks on the protesters, and I call on the security agencies to ensure that the dastardly act is addressed immediately.

“The daredevil attackers must be identified, arrested, and prosecuted immediately. The attack must not go unchallenged.”

The governor added: “Peaceful protest is a constitutional right and no government or individuals are allowed under the law to abridge such a right.

“While we continue to urge the young protesters to remain peaceful while their legitimate grievances are addressed, I hereby call for security beef up to prevent any reoccurrence of such attacks on the protesters or other residents in the state