By Victor Ogunje
As part of the efforts to curtail the violence associated with the #EndSARS protest in Ekiti State that had assumed a dangerous dimension, Governor Kayode Fayemi has imposed a 24 -hour curfew on the state.
The curfew would be effective 10pm on Tuesday and last for the next 24 hours.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, on Tuesday.
Fayemi, in the statement said: “In the past 48 hours there have been incidents of gang-rape, robberies, physical assaults on innocent people, looting and burning of a police station. These acts of brigandage are not in consonance with the legitimate aspirations of the protesters. It cannot be logical to seek to remedy impunity with impunity.
“Government therefore cannot afford to watch a deliberate enthronement of anarchy by some bad elements who have hijacked the protest for some clandestine reasons.
“Consequently, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, hereby imposes a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State starting from 10.00 pm tonight, Tuesday, October, 20, 2020.
“Only essential workers and service providers with valid means of identifications are allowed to move around during the period of the curfew”.
Fayemi added that any person found on the street that did not belong to this category, would be promptly arrested and prosecuted according to the laws of Ekiti State.
“We seek the understanding of the good people of Ekiti State as we continue to take deliberate steps towards ensuring that peace and normalcy return to our state.
“The Government of Ekiti State has observed with growing concern how the #ENDSARS protest, which started as a peaceful protest against police brutality by youths in Ekiti State, has been hijacked by some hoodlums.
“The hoodlums have capitalised on the ENDSARS protest to rape, assault, rob and extort innocent citizens across the State. These are in addition to the wanton destruction of properties, particularly private properties.
” Government is concerned that if this state of affairs is allowed to continue unabated, it will lead to a breakdown of law and order thereby threatening the wellbeing of the people of Ekiti State.
“For the purpose of clarity Government continues to show understanding and responsiveness to the demands of the legitimate protesters.
“On 16th October 2020, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Governor, Ekiti State met with the protesters in person. While identifying with the legitimacy of their protests, he assured them that the State Government will immediately put measures in place to respond to all their demands.
“Government has since then constituted a Human Rights Investigation Panel to review all cases of abuse by Officers of the disbanded SARS. In addition, Government has enabled a Victims Compensation Fund to facilitate speedy remedial measures for victims of such abuse.
” Furthermore, several officials of Government have engaged the protesters at multiple fora and platforms including the social media in order to ensure that concerns of protesters are properly identified and responded to in a prompt and efficient manner with necessary feedback.
“Government had also at various times drawn the attention of the protesters to the troubling hijack of the protests by individuals whose only interest is to inflict violence on the people of the state”.