#RevolutionIsNow: Police disperse protesters in Ondo, arrest journalist

Police from the Ondo State Police Command, on Monday, disrupted the planned protests tagged #RevolutionIsNow in Ore, in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, arresting some protesters.

The armed security agents dispersed and chased away the protesters who had gathered at the ever-busy Benin/ Ore expressway as early as 8 am but the police prevented the protesters from blocking the road.

A journalist covering the event, Tosin Ajuwon was arrested and assaulted by the security men and whisked away from the scene of the protest.

While speaking on his experience, Ajuwon said “I was covering some group of protesters of the #RevolutionIsNow who was making attempt to block the Benin-Ore expressway when the policemen stormed the road and chased them away.

“But one of the officers who was heavily armed came to me and asked me why I was filming the protest and I identified myself as a journalist covering the protest.

“He asked me who gave me the authority to cover the protest and I told him I have the constitutional right as a journalist to do so, more so, that it is in a public place.

“In fact, I have to tell him that the demonstrators also have the lawful right to assembly as granted under section 40 of the constitution and demonstrate so far their actions are peaceful and this angered them and I was arrested.

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“They collected my phone and bundled me into the Police waiting van for trying to perform my duty as a journalist. I was manhandled and handcuffed while they dragged me like a criminal, slapped me repeatedly.

“They drove me to the Ore Area Command with one other boy that was arrested among the demonstrators. They made us write a statement and kept me in custody for several hours interrogating me.

“It was the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of the Ore command that came to intervene and having found out that I am a journalist ordered his men to release me at about 4 pm.”

Speaking on the action of the police, one of the Coordinators of Coalition for Revolution (CORE) in Ondo State, Abiodun Oyekan described the action of the policemen as barbaric.

“We condemned the action of the police to disperse law-abiding citizens who are agitating for an egalitarian society in Ore today.

“They have shown force against us but nothing shall discourage us in agitating for freedom and we use this medium to also call for the release of the journalist who was arrested by the police in Ore.

“We have all gathered to raise out our voice for free, quality and compulsory education at all levels. We also want a democratic end to the issues of insecurity in the country and ask the government to pay the minimum wage while also placing all politicians on minimum wage.”

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