social media that soldiers have taken over the Ado Ekiti, the State
Capital and chased protesters with guns as untrue and misleading.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti, the State
Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation, Hon. Akin Omole
explained that soldiers did not engage the protesters even as they
barricaded most roads in the State capital throughout Monday.
Hon. Omole stressed that the soldiers were in the State to protect the
people, including the protesters as well as to prevent hoodlums and
miscreants from hijacking the peaceful protest by hiding behind the
demonstration to commit crime and harass innocent citizens.
Describing the present administration in the State as a respecter of
human rights led by a renowned activist and an advocate of good
governance, Omole advised the ENDSARS protesters to remain law-abiding
and refrain from harassing innocent fellow citizens to avoid a total
hijack of the protest by criminals and hooligans.
Omole noted that Governor Fayemi promptly set up a Panel of Enquiry
and Restitution for Victims of SARS and Related Abuses to investigate
possible cases of police brutality in the state in line with the
decision of the Governors’ forum and the recommendation of the
National Economic Council.
The Commissioner assured that the panel which has retired Justice
Cornelius Akintayo as Chairman and representation from Civil Society
Organizations, including youth groups, will look into verifiable cases
of SARS brutality and fatality and ensure offending SARS officers are
identified and prosecuted appropriately while victims or their
families are duly compensated.
He stated that government is not unaware that the concerns of the
public go beyond a need for Police/SARS reforms to a basic demand for
better governance emphasizing that the State Government had already
commenced consultation with the people to address the fundamental
issues that led to the protests with the establishment of the panel.
Omole however described news of some skirmishes amongst the protesters
as well as reported clashes between the ENDSARS protesters and
pro-SARS demonstrators in some parts of the country as disturbing;
stressing that government has the primary responsibility of protecting
lives and property of the people under all circumstances.
Advising the protesters, Omole cautioned that “while the present
administration in Ekiti recognizes and respects the right of peaceful
assembly, and in fact, identifies with the people on the demand for
good governance, all stakeholders must be mindful of the safety of all
lives and both public and private properties in the State.
“Innocent law-abiding citizens should be allowed to go about their
lawful businesses without hindrance while there must be due cognizance
of the fact that willful destruction of properties will be detrimental
to the socio-economic wellbeing of the people”.
He assured that the Fayemi led administration would continue to work
towards making life more meaningful for people in the State in spite
of the global economic downturn and the devastating effect of the
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