Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has condemned, in strong terms, the attack on Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, allegedly by #EndSARS protesters, calling on its organisers to exercise control over stakeholders involved in the protests.
Gov. Oyetola was attacked by armed thugs while addressing Nigerians, especially youths, protesting police brutality under #EndSARS, on Saturday in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
NAN reports that although the governor escaped, the hoodlums, armed with cutlasses and sticks, threw stones and damaged vehicles in his convoy.
Speaking on behalf of Akeredolu, Mr. Ojo Oyewamide, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media and Publicity, said in a press statement on Sunday in Akure that the peaceful protest was hijacked by criminals and hoodlums hired by politicians.
Oyewamide stressed the need for the organisers to identify those with genuine, altruistic desires for reforms and elements who have offered themselves as mercenaries to unleash mayhem on innocent people.
According to him, Akeredolu, who is also the chairman, South West Governors’ Forum, described the attack as unwarranted, misdirected and repulsive.
“The genuine movement has already been hijacked by politicians to visit their frustrations on perceived opponents.
“This act is a clear act of terrorism under the guise of a civil and supposedly peaceful protest. This is more so as dangerous weapons were said to have been deployed in the ignoble act.
“Undoubtedly, the #EndSARS movement has had a popular and receptive attitude to it by majority of Nigerians, including policy makers, who have seen in it an opportunity to deepen concern and redirect efforts towards veritable reforms aimed at achieving positive results.
“All the same, the desirability or otherwise of this movement appears to have come under a curious integrity test following the misdirected anger visited on Governor Oyetola.
“The attack on Governor Oyetola or any other governor anywhere in the country is a clear infliction of double jeopardy. No governor is in charge of any police formation, unit or department,” Oyewamide quoted Akeredolu as saying.
The governor, therefore, called on youths to hold firm to their belief in the Nigerian project and press for whatever was desirable to make it work.