New Telegraph

End SARS protests: Minister worried, demands protection for activists

•Speaks with injured student, picks up medical bill

•Police deny shooting protester


Following reports of tear-gassing and an alleged shooting of a protester in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, on Saturday, demanding the end of SARS, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has called on the residents of Ogbomoso to remain calm, steadfast and law-abiding as the situation has been reported to appropriate quarters for full investigation.


The minister, who swung into action immediately he was informed of the situation, has been in constant communication with the Palace of the Soun of Ogbomosoland, the Area Commander, Owode, Ogbomoso and the Chairman of Ogbomoso Parapo in a bid to put the situation under control.


Dare, while seeking full protection of the protesters, many of whom are youths, called on the police not to deny them the right to protest because the right to peaceful protest was a democratic right.


The Minister has also asked the Vice Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso and one of his aides, Shola Kolawole, to monitor the situation and report back and also visit the injured in the hospitals to make sure the injured get full medical treatment.


Dare expressed appreciation to the Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, whose palace was besieged earlier by the protesters for his fatherly advice to the protesting youths, many of whom are students of LAUTECH, adding that he (Dare) will work closely with other stakeholders to ensure that the relative peace in Ogbomoso is not truncated.


However, some reports indicate that hoodlums hijacked the protest from the organisers and wanted to free some detainees at the area command. Meanwhile, the Police Command in Oyo State has debunked the reported shooting of EndSARS protesters in Ogbomoso by its personnel.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some youths had, on Saturday, stormed major streets in Ogbomoso to demand for the ban of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), an arm of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). One of the protesters was said to have been shot by the police in the process.


An eyewitness told NAN that the victim was shot in the leg by the police when the protesters reached Owode Police Station in Ogbomoso. The witness said that the man was shot, as the policemen were trying to ensure that the station was not attacked by the protesters.


He added that the victim had been rushed to an undisclosed hospital in the town. However, the Public Relations Officer of the command, SP Olugbenga Fadeyi, in a statement issued in Ibadan on Saturday, said that the police did not fire a single shot at any proteste

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