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ENDSARS Protests: Makinde Deploys Operation Burst, Shuts Down Schools

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Zainab Sanni

The Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde has said that the personnel of Operation Burst have been deployed to various hotspots following breakout of violence at ENDSARS protests on Tuesday.

The governor in a statewide broadcast noted that hoodlums and thugs took advantage of the peaceful protests to harass innocent citizens and cause untold hardships.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Security Operatives Open Fire On Lekki ENDSARS Protesters
He also announced the closure of schools from Wednesday October 22, 2020 till the end of the week for a review of the situation on ground.

He said, “I have always said that peaceful protests are an important part of our democratic process, and no one should be harassed or brutalised for protesting.

“For this reason, we deployed members of Operation Burst to protect protesters. And we are happy to report that there have been no cases of disruptions of protest grounds in Oyo State since they started work.

“However, the past two days have seen a new dimension to the ongoing protests. Thugs and hoodlums have taken advantage of the situation to perpetrate uncivil acts and harass citizens who are going about their day-to-day activities.

“Some thugs are going as far as forcing people who have businesses open to close shop and join in the protests.

“We know these are criminal elements. And so, as a state, we must act to protect the citizenry.

“Therefore, we are deploying members of Operation Burst to various hotspots in Ibadan to arrest the situation and restore normalcy.

“Members of the team will continue to protect genuine protesters and their right to protest. But we can not allow persons with ulterior motives to hijack the protests.”

He added that his government remained committed to the process of meeting the demands of these protests, and as promised, the Director of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice, Oyo State, had withdrawn cases against End SARS protesters, while those in custody had been released.

The governor stated further that his government had set up platforms for reporting past and present incidents of police brutality and injustice.

“This will naturally pave the way for the next steps in our quest to get justice for the victims.

“I urge the good people of Oyo State to trust the process that we have set up and be rest assured that every case will be pursued to a logical conclusion.

“I have directed that all schools in Ibadan, should be closed from tomorrow, Wednesday, October 21 2020 for the rest of this week. The situation will be reviewed on Friday, October 23 2020, and then further directives will be given.

“Please call 615 should anyone attempt to disrupt your legitimate business activities.

“We will continue to seek ways to engage with peaceful protesters. Our plan is that in the shortest possible time, we can finally say the days of large-scale and wanton police brutality and injustice is a thing of the past.

“Let me also use this opportunity to call on members of the Nigeria Police Force to remain professional in the discharge of their duties, as they will be held responsible for their actions,” Governor Makinde said.

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