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Why Osun State Governor Was Attacked At #EndSARS Protest

Two people were feared dead in Osogbo, Osun State, on Saturday as the #EndSARS protest in the state capital turned violent.

Also, many vehicles in the convoy of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola were damaged, following an attack by protesters.

The governor was addressing protesters at Olaiya Junction when the situation became rowdy and his security men, in a bid to ferry him to safety, resorted to shooting into the air, as hoodlums threw missiles at the convoy.

Oyetola apologised to the protesters for failing to address them after several days of demonstration and promised to make an enquiry from the Commissioner of Police to ascertain the alleged involvement of the National Union of Road Transport Workers’ boss in the attack on the protesters.

Some minutes to 3pm, shortly after the governor arrived in the venue, one of the protesters, Olawale Bakare, demanded an apology from him for refusing to engage the protesters after nine days of demonstration.

Bakare also demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of a chieftain of the NURTW, identified as Asiri Eniba, who he accused of sending thugs to attack the protesters.

But the governor denied sending thugs to attack the protesters and promised to pay the hospital bills of those injured during the protest.

His response did not, however, go down well with the protesters as those wielding cutlasses and axes, were seen standing in front of the governor’s vehicle to prevent him from leaving the scene.

While forcing their way through the crowd, the security details of the governor shot into the air as the hoodlums hurled missiles and smashed the glasses of several vehicles in the convoy.

The hoodlums, who chased the convoy along Odiolowo Workers’ Drive on motorcycles, later returned to Olaiya and set up bonfires on the road.

One person, whose identity could not be immediately ascertained, was confirmed dead at the Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.

A doctor in the hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the deceased died from a gunshot wound and that another man who was injured at the scene of the protest was also rushed to the hospital.

Also, one onother person was feared dead, as hoodlums reportedly attacked the base of an unnamed NURTW boss at the Old Garage end of Osogbo on Saturday evening.

A reliable security source said the hoodlums stormed Old Garage and engaged loyalists of the NURTW in a fight, leading to the death of two people. But a protester, Olaoluwa Owoeye, in an interview, said three protesters were shot dead by the security men attached to the governor.

He said, “There was no attack on the governor. The security men with him shot at people. Three people are in the mortuary after the attack. Our DJ and two others were shot dead.”

But the state Commissioner for Information, Funke Egbemode, said, “It was an assassination attempt. This was certainly beyond the #EndSARS protest. The people who launched the attack were not protesters at all.

“Protests have been going on in the state for some days now and there had been no attack on any government official since the beginning of the protest.

“However, today’s attack changed the narrative. It was not a spontaneous attempt. The attackers had it all planned. They had guns and other weapons. In fact, it was a woman who smashed the windscreen of the vehicle of the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji, where I was.”

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Undie Adie, in a statement signed by Yemisi Opalola, the Police Public Relations Officer on behalf of the commissioner, said two persons were reported dead in the pandemonium.

The statement read in part, “The protesters, infiltrated by hoodlums armed with dangerous weapons such as stones, clubs, cutlasses, guns, etc, attacked the governor, entourage and vehicular convoy.

“The police escort attached to the governor rescued the governor back to Government House at Oke-Fia without harm. Information at the disposal of the command indicates that two persons are reported to have died in the pandemonium.

“The Commissioner of Police appeals to members of the public to remain calm and law-abiding as efforts are ongoing to restore normalcy.