Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Tuesday once again appealed to the youth and #EndSARS demonstrators in the state to be peaceful, calm and civil in their conduct and not allow the lofty idea behind the protest to be hijacked by hoodlums and self-serving people.
Gov Abiodun on the other hand also enjoined the security agencies to always exercise great restraint and avoid use of force in managing peaceful protests.
The governor made this appeal in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Kunle Somorin and made available to newsmen at the state capital, Abeokuta.
Abiodun who said he identified with the objectives of the protest against law enforcement agencies brutalising the citizens however insisted that only peaceful protest is a legitimate way of showing grievances against perceived high-handedness or injustice with any system.
The governor said this was why he instructed the police to release all the 23 protesters arrested including those three arraigned in court and remanded in a custodial centre on Monday, October 12, 2020 as the his government would not not press any charge against them.
He said the state government would waste no time to investigate any act of brutality of citizens by law enforcement agencies, call for compensation of the victims as well as identify and hold the erring law enforcement officer accountable.
He, however, pleaded with the youths to steer clear of conducts that run counter to the reason for the protest in the first instance adding that the youth should allow the planned reform of the police, starting with the immediate disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other measures already announced by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Abiodun said his government would continue to maintain keen interest in the planned police reform and ensure that the desired and lasting changes that will make Nigeria Police a professional, people-centred, and responsive public institution that operate within the ambit of the law are achieved.