The police in Ekiti State have said the EndSARS protest in the state had been hijacked by hoodlums who have turned the protest into an avenue for criminal activities.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Sunday Abutu, said three female protesters were gang-raped on Sunday night by hoodlums during the ongoing protest in Ado Ekiti.
He said the incident took place around the Fajuyi Park area where the protesters were mainly situated.
He also said three trucks were set on fire by the hoodlums during the protest.
The report was said to have spurred the state government to order the closure of all public and private schools in the state.
The governor, Kayode Fayemi, said the closure would ensure the safety of the students.
The protesters have been occupying strategic locations in Ado Ekiti since Sunday until 8.00 p.m., particularly at the Fajuyi Park not far from the Ekiti State Government House.
Early on Tuesday, most of the major roads in the city had been barricaded with bonfires which hindered vehicular and human traffic.
Mr Abutu said the hoodlums’ hijack of the protests portrayed danger for the country.
“Every Nigerian or group has the legitimate right to protest but the moment you start destroying property, then it becomes another thing,” the police spokesman said.
“We appeal to the youths to refrain from wanting destruction of lives and property under the guise of protest.”
The Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda, frowned at the rape of victims by some hoodlums alleged to be #EndSARS protesters.
“Rape and robbery cannot be the values of EndSARS protesters,” he said.
“It is becoming obvious that Government cannot continue to allow the good people of Ekiti State suffer in this manner.”
READ MORE: Ekiti raises panel on police brutality
Mr Fapohunda, however, advised that the assaulted girls be taken to the Ekiti State Sexual Assault Referral Centre- the Moremi Clinic located in the Ekiti State teaching hospital for medical check-up.
“It may now be necessary to alert all those participating in the protests, specifically girls and women to note that there exist hoodlums in their midst whose agenda is to rape and rob,” he further said.
Mr Fayemi, through the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Kofoworola Aderiye, on Tuesday ordered that schools in the state be closed for the rest of the week.
“It is a proactive step to safeguard the lives of our pupils, students, teachers and other staff members who are finding it difficult to get to their respective schools,” a statement by the commissioner, said.
“School activities will continue on Monday 26th October 2020.”
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