Hunters Take Charge of Protests’ Grounds in Osogbo

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By Yinka Kolawole

Members of the Hunters Group of Nigeria, Osun State chapter, yesterday identified with the #EndSARS protesters in Osogbo to ward-off hoodlums who may hijack the demonstrations.

Armed with guns and other weapons, the hunters stormed the protest ground at Olaiya area of Osogbo, the state capital, in the afternoon and declared their support for the struggle.

Adorned in their uniform and led by their leader, Nureni Adisa, who was wearing protective armour dotted with charms, the protesters vowed to quell any incursion of hoodlums into the protest.

Addressing the protesters, Adisa said their presence at the protest scenes and around Osogbo was to ensure civility, orderliness and security of lives and property of the people of the capital city.

He condemned the attack on the state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, by some political thugs last weekend, and charged the protesters to be at alert and ensure that any miscreant that may want to infiltrate them is identified.

While reacting to the situation, the spokesperson of the protesters, Adebisi Oluwaseun Emmanuel, explained how the crisis ensued at the protest scene at Olaiya while Oyetola was addressing the protesters.

He promised to ensure that the protest is not hijacked, calling on the governor to bring those who attacked protesters last week to justice.

Since the demonstrations to end police brutality and bad governance started, police officers have not be found in the public either to ensure orderliness nor prevent hijack of the protest.

However, in a related development, the Coalition For Civil Society of Nigeria and the Nigerian youths at a press conference held at the Osun State Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) press centre in Osogbo yesterday, expressed concerns on the current #EndSARS protests across Nigeria and Osun State in particular.

The group, which comprises of Nigerians For Good Governance, Justice Now Foundation,. Oduduwa Youth Initiatives, Centre for Sustained Dialogue, Osun Youth Alternative, and National Youth Democratic Network, promised not to deviate from the struggle.

Their spokespersons, Ayo Ologun, Waheed Saka and wole Oladapo, maintained that “we wish to assert unequivocally that we supportthe agitations of the Nigerian youths and all the demands raised on the banner of the #EndSARS protest.

“Let it be clearly understood that the system failure and inability of the government at all levels of the Nigeria political structure to meet daily yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians is responsible for the current outburst of mass anger of both young and old Nigerians being championed by the youths.

“We accept the proposal of the federal government to initiate public panel of enquiry across the 36 states of Nigeria to look into various incidents of human right abuses by the officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other abuses by officers of the Nigerian Police Force in general.

“We, therefore, call on all state governors to expedite action in this regard and ensure that such committee or panel is composed to include representatives of the youths, civil societies and other sections of the society to reflect democracy and integrity.”