Endsars memorial: Activists shun protest as police show force in Osun
TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Heavy security deployment at strategic locations in Osogbo, capital of Osun State, might have prevented protests in the state as Nigerian youths marked two years memorial of Endsars.
Security operatives, as early as 6:00am on Thursday, had taken to major areas in Osogbo and embarked on show of force, apparently to scare intending protesters away.
At Olaiya, Old Garage, Oke-Fia areas among others, heavily armed policemen were seen patrolling while some other stationed their operational vehicles strategically.
One of the leading faces of the Endsars movement in the state, Comrade Emmanuel Adebisi, said some youths would have demonstrated to mark the memorial event but to alleged massive deployment of security operatives and threats.
Adebisi told NEWS BOOM that, “some of us have not forgotten the blood of our fallen heroes by having their memorial. But, it’s quite unfortunate that some people are still feeding on the unfortunate occurrence. What we have in Osun for this memorial is not encouraging because this protest didn’t start in a hall. It started on the street and we should have marked the memorial protest on the street.
“Some are saying that Endsars protest didn’t have leaders and that was why it ended the way it did, but I am saying it didn’t have leaders because it wasn’t a paid protest. We started the Endsars movement in Osun following the killing of two guys in Osogbo. Some of the people posing as leader of the movement today were invited by us. They have become cankerworms to the movement and lend themselves to politicians.
“The state government is telling us those that they have compensated but the family of Azeez and Fresh who were killed by police ware still anguishing without compensation. My case is still in court from 2020 till date and that’s because I can’t dance to the tunes of politicians. We will continue to raise our voices against bad leadership.
“In Lagos, Ibadan and other cities went to the street but here in Osun where the Endsars started, gathered in the hall. We were supposed to go out but this morning, the number of police dispatched was massive. One of us, Comrade Wale was arrested this morning so that he won’t mobilise protest. He was later released. We were threatened against public protest,” he added.
Speaking at a memorial event organised by Osun Civil Society Movement with the theme: “Nigeria is Ours to Drive…A Better Narrative” in Osogbo, a lawyer, Ibrahim Lawal, urged government not to wait for any issue to get out of hand before initiating reforms once there is public consensus that a system is not working.
The Chief Press Secretary to Osun State Governor, Ismail Omipidan, said the government had compensated victims of police brutality adding that the state is one of the very few states that achieved the feat, adding that concerns of youths have been prioritised by the incumbent administration.