Political thugs attacked me not protesters – Oyetola gives details

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Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, has said that political thugs planned the attack on him during the #End SARS protest at Osogbo on Saturday.

He stated that the incident occurred while the governor was addressing the peaceful protesters.

Political thugs hijacked the exercise and hurled dangerous weapons and stones and end up vandalizing some vehicles.

Governor Oyetola disclosed that preliminary investigation further revealed that no live bullet or canister of teargas was fired at the rampaging political thugs, he also added that no life was lost at the incident scene. At the same time, he was properly evacuated to safety.

Later, two lives were reportedly lost on Saturday in Osogbo, but which, according to him, was not at the attack scene.

Here is the full text from Governor Oyetola

My dear Good People of the State of Osun,

Political thugs and hoodlums, Yesterday evening, made failed attempts on my life and those of my aides while identifying with our beloved Nigerian youths who were engaging in legitimate protest against the alleged brutality of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

My entourage and I joined protesters from the Alekuwodo area to Olaiya Junction, chanting solidarity songs with them and encouraging them along the way. During my address to the protesters to reiterate our cooperation and support, political thugs hijacked the exercise, hurled stones and dangerous weapons at us. They vandalized several cars in my convoy.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the commando-style with which the assailants carried out their attack was deliberate and pre-planned. It was also evident that it was not the genuine protesters that carried out the violence.

The preliminary investigation further revealed no live bullet or canister of teargas was fired at the rampaging political thugs. Therefore, no life was lost at the scene of the incident. I was properly evacuated to safety.

Regrettably, two lives were reportedly lost yesterday. But none occurred during the attack on me. One of the said deaths caused by a lone motorcycle accident occurred around 12noon, long before I got to the protest ground.

The second death was said to have occurred around Ayepe, about 5 kilometers away from Olaiya, where we held the protest.

We sympathize with the diseased families and pray to God to grant them the fortitude to bear the great losses.

I have directed that the incidents be properly investigated to ascertain the causes of the deaths.

By this week, we shall be setting up a Judicial Panel of Enquiry in line with the directive of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to investigate all related cases of abuse and brutality by the disbanded SARS. This panel will also investigate yesterday’s attack.

What happened on Saturday is objectionable, unacceptable, and a blight to the Omoluabi ethos that the State of Osun stands for.

Attempt on the governor’s life cannot be planned by the youths who constituted over 60 percent of the voters who elected us into the office and had embarked on successful and peaceful road walks with us several times in the past.

Osun youths who are the original #EndSARS protesters have traveled the long road of building a better Osun with us. We have been on the lane of delivering a better and prosperous Osun together. This assassination attempt could not have come from them.

Our Administration had identified with the youths from Day One of the protest that protest is a legitimate right of the citizenry and a core component of democracy. On the day one of the protests, Senior Government Officials were at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park to identify with and address the protesters.

These Senior Officers of the Government also addressed them at the Gate of the State Secretariat, Abere, on the fourth day to identify with the protesters, pledge our solidarity to their cause and promise to deliver their demands to the President. Mr. President has since met those demands.

The protesters had engaged in a peaceful demonstration for the first two days before it was later hijacked in the last five days. We had cause to raise the alarm last Wednesday to the effect that the protest had been hijacked.

Again, earlier yesterday, our party, the All Progressives Congress, did raise another alarm that identified political thugs were seen brandishing dangerous weapons while following the protesters.

Unfortunately, yesterday’s protest that started peacefully was allowed to degenerate into a violent exercise and a huge danger to the lives and property of the people we are called out to protect. This is unacceptable.

As a responsible and responsive government, we will do everything within the law’s ambit to protect the lives and property of our people. All our citizens and residents are enjoined to be law-abiding as any person found contravening the law shall be made to face the wrath of the law.

We commit to the cause of our youths and the #EndSARS protesters and shall do everything to ensure that their demands are met.

I enjoin all our citizens to be peaceful and law-abiding as all efforts shall be made to protect them and their property.

Rest assured that we are on top of the situation. We shall fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act and bring them to justice. We shall not condone any act that will compromise our people’s lives and our State’s hard-won ranking as the most peaceful State in Nigeria.

As a responsible government, we will do everything in our power to protect our people’s lives and property.

May God continue to bless and keep the State of Osun.

Thank you, and God bless.

DAILY POST

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