PRESS STATEMENT #ENDSARS MOVEMENT, OSUN STATE
20th of October 2020.
It was with genuity and clarity of purpose that we started our peaceful protest against police brutality on the 07th of October 2020. It should hereby be noted that since the beginning of the peaceful protest, we have acted in accordance to the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all activities and engagement of the protesters have been within the confines of the law. We maintain that it is our democratic right to voice out our pains and grievances in the face of any oppression and injustice, and these have formed the basis and the catalyst of the massive turn out of the Osun State Youths in protest against the excesses and high-handedness of State Anti-Robbery Squad SARS, a notorious unit of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF.
On Saturday, 17th of October, 2020. It makes it the 10th day on the barricade, despite the growing agitations, the Government of Osun State did not for once attempt to address or at least hear the pains and demands of the peaceful protesters. Rather, they contracted their very known mentally wretched thugs, the person of Asiri Eniba and his cohorts to unleash terror on the people with different set of weapons. Containing but not limited to; guns, cutlasses, axes, diverse set of knives and scary looking charms. Some were killed while several protesters were wounded, leaving the scene in a gory condition.
The following day, we gathered in our peaceful nature. Few hours into our peaceful procession, shortly before the Muslim Youths were to pray for Jumat being a Friday, we heard the hoodlums were gathering again to disrupt the peaceful gathering. We were defenseless, as we’ve never planned to attack anyone. In our innocent bid not to hurt anyone and at the same time not run away from the barricade because of some despicable thugs who can go as far as killing for Mr Gboyega Oyetola whose parochial interests are bigger than that of the Nigerian peoples, as long as they are paid, given the authority to oppress and extort the people of Osun, and also given shield against all criminal activities and atrocities against humanity committed in the past by Asiri Eniba. They were shouting in loud and almost in chorus “Won ti sanwo emi e”, which means “we’ve been paid to kill you” as they chase us away from the barricade with their scary-looking weapons the previous day; Thursday, 15th of October 2020. In defence, the non-muslims formed a perimeter around Muslim brothers while they are observing their Solat in obvious formation to protect them against any external attack.
In all these, without any intention for undue mischief, it should be clearly seen and noted that the formation and comportment of #EndSars struggle of Osun has no quotation of violence whatsoever. We can recall on Thursday 8th of October, 2020. When we went to the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Olarewaju Farouq calmly addressed us and commended our peaceful manner and nature of the protest. Same was reiterated by the Secretary to the State Government Prince Oluwole Oyebamiji SSG on the 09th of October, 2020. When we marched in peaceful procession to Government House; all of these have video and pictorial evidences that further buttress the peaceful nature of this struggle.
On Saturday, 17th of October 2020. The governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola after ruthless attempt to violently disperse the protest failed, and this dirty stunts become so unpopular within the public domain, Mr Gboyega Oyetola in a bid to safe his face and redeemed his spoilt reputation from such coward and disappointing act, agreed to meet with the protesters on the barricade. It should be noted that despite the fact of delaying the youths for several days and hours on that very day, we maintained our calmness and composure and even cheered and welcomed the Governor into our midst. Things were going fine until the people asked Mr Governor to do for them what he is paid to do. We would like to remind the general public at this junction that the primary responsibility of any responsible government is to secure lives and properties; which was why we demanded that the Governor arrest Asiri Eniba since he denied he never had anything to do with the thugs whatsoever. The primary duty of saving life and properties was flagrantly disobeyed. The reluctance of the Governor confirmed all suspicion and this increased the agitations in the aggrieved youths. To counter the claim of Mr Governor, we gave him facts and figures of how he sent his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Omipidan and the Commissioner for Environment Oladepo Sholagbade to Asiri Eniba with #4million to mobilise thugs and disperse a peaceful protest. Before we finished making our point, the thugs came out with cutlasses, axes and guns and dispersed the peaceful gathering and in the process we lost two of our brothers (Mutiu Lateef aka Fresh and Halimi Olamilekan Ahmed) who were shot multiple times and several others severely injured. In contrary to Mr Governor’s narratives, we believe it was a pre-planned and calculated attack on the peaceful demonstration. The two assassinated protesters were shot from behind multiple times and other places that suggests they were never a threat to the shooter.
We believe the #4million disbursed to mobilise thugs and the several millions used in selling false narratives to the media could have gone a long way in reversing some of the adverse conditions the people of Osun were subjected to only if properly managed and utilised.
We condemn in strong terms the death of our brothers under the instruction and watch of Mr Governor. We wish to say none of the deceased died from accident or any active engagement on the barricade. The only accident and injury sustained was promptly controlled and adequately attended to, and the victim of the accident as at the time of writing this press release is hale and healthy and standing by us. Every death and injury sustained on the 17th of 0ctober, 2020 was from the Governor’s entourage of thugs and the unguided approach of his convoy.
In this light, without further delay or compromise, we hereby demand the following;
👉🏼All the thugs that attacked the governor be arrested and prosecuted;
👉🏼All the so-called thugs who looted Osun Mall be also arrested and prosecuted as we are vehemently against any act of looting and other unlawful practices;
👉🏼All the persons involved in the disruption of our peaceful protest be immediately arrested and prosecuted, as the Governor cannot sell to us the story that he is incapacitated in dispensing his constitutional responsibility in securing lives and properties;
We maintain that we the youths of Osun State retain the rights to peacefully protest against the inadequacies of the government until freedom is attained. We will continue to agitate for our demand to #EndSars #EndSwat #EndPoliceBrutality #EndBadGoverment and no amount of intimidation will discourage us from the revolutionary path to liberation. We also demand justice for all our fallen heroes and all persons involved in their death be brought to book. Our prayers goes to the families of the deceased, may the Almighty grant them the fortitude to bear the loss. And may their gentle souls rest in perfect peace.
Olawale Adebayo Bakare (Mandate)
Adebisi O Emmanuel
Chairperson Comtt. For Planning Strategy and Crowd Control
Chairperson, Finance and Welfare Comtt.
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