By Wale Akinselure
The protesters were on Friday stormed the Oyo State Secretariat, Ibadan, destroying properties in sight and visiting violence on any human being attempting to obstruct their march.
In the wake of Friday’s protests in Ibadan, the state capital, governor Seyi Makinde announced indefinite suspension of his reelection campaign.
Wielding sticks, woods and other dangerous weapons, the protesters forced open the two main gates of the Secretariat with security operatives taking cover.
It was a chaotic scene at the state Secretariat with civil servants and people within the Secretariat scramping for safety.
The rampaging protesters subsequently made their way to the governor’s office where they attempt to force the gate open. While the protest lasted, the protesters made bonfires around the state Secretariat.
Meeting stiff resistance from the officers on duty who fire shots into the air, the protesters resorted to throwing stones and other dangerous weapons into the governor’s office.
A police officer attached to the governor’s office was injured in an attack by protesters.
The officer had attempted persuading the protesters, preaching calm, but was shocked to receive rain of stones, leaving him injured.
The swift intervention and back up from men of the Operation Burst and Police Team saved the situation that would have degenerated into a major crisis.
The protesters were loud in stating that the protest was against the hardship faced as a result of scarcity of cash and fuel.
Speaking after the protest, Executive Assistant on Security to governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Sunday Odukoya bemoaned the violent turn that the protest took and called for calm.
Governor Makinde while announcing indefinite suspension of his re-election campaign, shortly after flagging off the 10 kilometres Omi Adio-Ido road in Ido Local Government said he could not be campaigning as the people are faced with undue hardship.
The governor was due to campaign in Ido Local Government on Friday, while the campaign train was to move to Oluyole Local Government on Saturday.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, on behalf of the Media Committee of the governor’s re-election campaign council, quoted him as saying: “I appreciate all the leaders and stakeholders who are ready for the campaign activities for today and I thank you for coming to meet us here today.
“But unfortunately, I will have no choice than to suspend our campaign. So, after this flag-off, I will return home, because there are protests in town and there is a lot of hardship with this issue of the scarcity of the new Naira notes.
“A lot of our people have money in banks but they are not able to get their money. Some of us campaigning are not able to access funds, maybe they do not want us to campaign.
“But I promised the people of Oyo State that I will continue to work for them till the last minute of the last day of my tenure. I am working for them and what this means is if there is hardship and people are protesting, I should not be on the campaign trail. I should go there and look after their interests.
“I have told the powers that be that if we don’t leave politics aside and face governance squarely, with the scarcity of Naira notes and the growing frustration, EndSARS will be a child’s play. I pray that the leaderships in this country will come together.