No less than three people are feared to have lost their lives during an attack on Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun state.
They reportedly died on Saturday as the #EndSARS protest in the Osun state capital turned violent.
Also, many vehicles in the convoy of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola were damaged, following an attack by suspected hoodlums at the scene of the protest.
According to The PUNCH, the governor was addressing protesters at Olaiya Junction when the situation became rowdy and his security men, in a bid to ferry him to safety, resorted to shooting into the air, as hoodlums threw missiles at the convoy.
Oyetola apologised to the protesters for failing to address them after several days of demonstration and promised to make an enquiry from the Commissioner of Police to ascertain the alleged involvement of the National Union of Road Transport Workers’ boss in the attack.
Some minutes to 3 pm, shortly after the governor arrived on the scene, one of the protesters, Olawale Bakare, demanded an apology from him for refusing to engage the protesters after nine days of demonstration.
Bakare also demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of a chieftain of the NURTW, identified as Asiri Eniba, who he accused of sending thugs to attack the protesters.
But the governor denied sending thugs to attack the protesters and promised to pay the hospital bills of all those injured during the protest.
His response did not, however, go down well with the protesters as hoodlums, wielding cutlasses, were seen standing in front of the governor’s vehicle to prevent him from leaving the scene.
While forcing their way through the crowd, the security details of the governor shot into the air as the hoodlums hurled missiles and smashed the glasses of several vehicles in the convoy.
The hoodlums, who chased the convoy along Odiolowo Workers’ Drive on motorcycles, later returned to Olaiya and set up bonfires on the road.
One person, whose identity could not be immediately ascertained, was confirmed dead at Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.
A doctor in the hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the deceased died from a gunshot wound and that another man who was injured at the scene of the protest was also rushed to the hospital.
Also, two others were feared dead, as hoodlums reportedly attacked the base of an unnamed NURTW boss at the Old Garage end of Osogbo on Saturday evening.
A reliable security source said the hoodlums had stormed Old Garage and engaged loyalists of the NURTW in a fight, leading to the death of two people. But a protester, OlaOluwa Owoeye, in an interview, said three protesters were shot dead by the security men attached to the governor.
He said, “There was no attack on the governor. The security men with him shot at people. Three people are in the mortuary after the attack. Our DJ and two others were shot dead.”
But the state Commissioner for Information, Funke Egbemode, said, “It was an assassination attempt. This was certainly beyond the #EndSARS protest. The people who launched the attack were not protesters at all.
“Protests have been going on in the state for some days now and there had been no attack on any government official since the beginning of the protest.
“However, today’s attack changed the narrative. It was not a spontaneous attempt. The attackers had it all planned. They had guns and other weapons. In fact, it was a woman who smashed the windscreen of the vehicle of the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji, where I was.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola, said the casualty figure was not readily available.