Ogbomoso protests: Police to take back seat, as Makinde deploys Operation Burst
• I’ll ensure no further lives are lost, he says
With Ogbomoso boiling in #EndSARS protests since Saturday, Governor Seyi Makinde, has directed the state Joint Security Task Force, Operation Burst, to handle the protests henceforth while the police are now to take the back seat.
Ogbomoso has since Saturday become the hotbed of violence with three persons, that includes Isiak Jimoh, feared killed in violent clashes involving residents of the town and the police.
Makinde made this disclosure in a broadcast on Monday.
He said the latest directive that other security agencies other than the police handle the protesters was a decision reached a meeting with heads of the main security agencies in the state on Sunday night.
Reinforcing that people had the right to peaceful protest, Makinde said the deployed officers of Operation Burst had been told not to harass or brutalise people as they protest.
He, however, asserted commitment to ensure that no life is further lost in the state as a result of #EndSARS protests.
He said: “The past few days have been ones of grief for the people of Oyo State. I cannot imagine the pain and frustration of the parents and families of those who have died or are hospitalised as a result of the actions of the Nigeria Police Force during these EndSARS protests.
“As I stated clearly in my earlier statement, peaceful protests are a legitimate way for citizens to make their grievances known to the government and it is totally unacceptable for anyone to be hurt during such protests.
“Last night, I held an emergency meeting with the heads of the main security agencies in Oyo State. I have again restated my position on the ongoing protests to them. And we have agreed that the police should take a back seat as other security agencies take the frontlines in securing the lives of protesters, at this time.
“Therefore, we have deployed members of Operation Burst to the hot spots, especially Ogbomoso, to ensure that as people protest, they will not be harassed or brutalised.
“I want to reassure the good people of Oyo State, that I am doing everything within my power, to ensure that no further lives are lost.
“I urge all residents of Oyo State to go about their activities without fear. To the protesters, I say, you can please continue to protest peacefully.”