OSUN, Nigeria – End SARS protesters in the state have opposed the judicial panel of inquiry constituted by the state government to look into petitions against police brutality.
The protesters, who expressed their displeasure, demanded an immediate review of the panel, saying “We reject a fraudulent Judicial Panel of Inquiry constituted by Mr Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, whose convoy killed protesters and left many severely injured.”
Speaking with journalists on Monday, the spokesperson for the group, Olawale Adebayo Bakare, maintained that the government has embarked on series of propaganda to silence protesters.
He said, “We tried to communicate our demands to them, but we were met with disgraceful and embarrassing words from a supposed Commissioner of Youths and Sports.
“Also, this same Commissioner, one Yemi Lawal, masterminded the fraudulent Judicial Panel of Enquiry, where he recruited individuals who lack t moral and legal standings, including recruited faceless youths that have never joined us to protest against police brutality and bad governance.”
Bakare maintained that the commissioner must be sacked for his anti-masses posture, saying, “Yemi Lawal is a notorious person in Osun and must be held accountable for any violence that may spring up in any action.”
He called for immediate and unconditional review of the Judicial Panel of Enquiry, alleging that the composition of the panel is politically manipulated to cover certain atrocities perpetrated by the government.
He further decried the heavy military presence and attack on peaceful protesters in the state, which he described as anti-democratic tendencies, adding that such action exposes Governor Oyetola as incompetent, repressive, as well as undemocratic.
“It is quite unfortunate that the individuals who are supposed to be the custodians of democracy and preserve law and order are rather found culpable of unleashing terror on peaceful protesters.
“Adding salts to our injury therefore, the Government of Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola contracted the military and other forces in the State to intimidate and brutalise us for expressing our grievances.
“It is not new to the people of Osun how the government have in the past called on the military to dehumanize and violate the rights of the citizens as it happened in Ilesha, in a video that went viral in the course of imposed curfew.
“We will remain peaceful and always remain as such, but the government must understand that this state could be better administered based on law and not hooliganism or gangsterism, as the right of the people to protest is constitutionally guaranteed”, Bakare said.
He also called for immediate arrest of an alleged notorious thug in the Osogbo metropolis, popularly known as Asiri Eniba, a reversal of fuel hike, a reversal of hike in electricity tariff; immediate resignation of IGP, Muhammad Adamu, and the immediate resignation of Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai among others.
He said, “We still maintain that Asiri Eniba must be brought to book because he is not above the law in anyway. He was sighted at the centre front of the hoodlums shouting that they should attack us. In that light, we demand his immediate arrest and that of his gang.
He, however, sympathised with Osun residents for their loss and inflicted hardship during the state-imposed curfew, as he implored them to go about their lawful businesses without fear of intimidation, saying they must remain resolute and undeterred as they fight on “until our demands are met and voices heard.”