Gboyega Oyetola, governor of Osun state in southwest Nigeria, on Sunday said he was not hurt in a Saturday attack by the #EndSARS protesters on his convoy in Osogbo, the state capital.
In a state broadcast, the governor said the “attempt on his life by assailants” during Saturday’s protest against the disbanded police unit the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the state was pre-planned, as preliminary investigation revealed that the commando-style in which the assailants carried out their attack.
According to the governor, the attempt on his life could not have been planned by the youths who constitute over 60 percent of the voters who elected him into office.
Oyetola, who noted that he was properly evacuated to safety during the incident, said no life was lost at the scene as no live bullet or canister of teargas was fired at “the rampaging political thugs.”
According to local media reports on Sunday, Oyetola joined the #EndSARS protest in Osogbo before things went awry. While rounding off his speech promising the protesters that their demands would be looked into and that he supported their peaceful protest, some of the protesters wielded “dangerous weapons,” and hurled stones at the governor’s car, forcing the governor’s convoy to speedily leave the scene with damages on the vehicles.
In recent days, protests marked by “EndSARS” have taken place in major cities across Nigeria, demanding justice for those reportedly killed or maimed by the SARS, a unit created by police with anti-robbery intentions.
The ongoing protests, the largest in Nigeria since the country returned to democratic rule in 1999, are mainly calling on the government to reform the police force.
On Oct. 11, police authorities disbanded SARS across police commands in the country, saying that such a move was in response to what Nigerians wanted.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday vowed to reform the police force amid the protests, saying that the disbanding of the special crime-fighting unit was the first step to “extensive police reforms” by the government. Enditem