Three people were reportedly killed on Sunday in Ogbomoso during a protest against the killing of another protester a day earlier, residents of the area have said.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the killing of Jimoh Isiaka on Saturday which happened when youth in the town took to the streets to protest against the dreaded tactical police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The protests, which have occurred around the country and in select cities around the globe by Nigerians in the diaspora, however, turned bloody on Saturday, leading to the death of Mr Isiaka, allegedly at the hands of the police.
Angered by this, aggrieved Ogbomoso youth went back to the streets the next day, Sunday, to protest the killing, only for the protests to turn even bloodier, with at least three people reportedly losing their lives after attack by police officers.
Sunday’s spate of violence occurred when the protesters had a confrontation with the police at the palace of the paramount ruler in the town, the Soun of Ogbomoso, Jimoh Oyewumi, leading to the reported death of three youth and the destruction of cars and properties in the royal palace.
This confrontation was allegedly ignited when the minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, visited the royal father at the palace. The minster is an indigene of the town
The principal secretary to the Soun, confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES, adding that cars destroyed included those belonging to the palace and one belonging to the Christian Association of Nigeria chair in Ogbomoso, who was receiving the minister at the palace.
“The youths were protesting against the killing today. And the Kabiyesi (Monarch) sent five of his chiefs including myself making six. We appealed to them that they should not cause trouble. They wanted to set the station ablaze.
“But, what led to this is that the Minister who is an indigene of Ogbomoso came to the palace. He came here and he talked to the King and the chiefs that the government will do something on it. He has been to the family of the deceased yesterday. He told us everything.
“In the course of doing that, these people now wanted to force themselves into the palace. They wanted to enter forcefully. It was because the minister was here, that is why they wanted to enter forcefully. They started throwing stones.
“What they destroyed here can’t be less than N50 million. Some Kabiyesi cars were destroyed. Some chief’s cars were also destroyed. They destroyed the car of CAN Chairman in Ogbomoso. The CAN chairman came to receive the Minister at the palace.”
Among those who were allegedly killed during Sunday’s protest included a youth identified as Akeju, a teenager, and another person whose identity could not be ascertained.
Those injured include Oladipupo Issac, a 13-year-old boy and Ibrahim Ganiyu, a 20-year-old.
The injured are currently receiving treatment at Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso.
“During the confrontation, at least three people who were shot died as a result of gunshots they sustained,” an indigene of the town told PREMIUM TIMES Monday, asking not to be named
Another resident said the corpses were brought to the palace to implicate the monarch.
“The corpses were brought to the palace to implicate the Soun of Ogbomoso. Three people died and they brought the corpses to the palace to implicate the Soun. Some people are saying they those killed were indigenes, while some said that they are not indigenes.”
However, a video has emerged which appears to show police officers removing two corpses from the palace of the Soun.
The video obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday shows two corpses being moved from inside the palace to an Armoured Personnel Carrier parked at the entrance of the palace.
One of the corpses has been identified to be that of Mr Akeju, with the other that of a teenager.
However, the police in the state have refused to comment on the casualties recorded during Sunday’s protest.
The state police public relations officer, Olugbenga Fadeyi, did not answer the phone when PREMIUM TIMES tried to call him. Also, a text message sent to him asking for comment was not replied as at the time of filing this report
Hoodlums brought corpses to my palace to cause confusion – Soun
Meanwhile, the Soun of Ogbomoso, Jimoh Oyewumi, has said that the protesting youth only brought corpses of those killed to cause confusion in his palace.
Mr Oyewumi in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by his principal secretary, Toyin Ajamu, maintained that no one died in his palace.
Mr Oyewumi said, “The attack was perpetrated by hoodlums, miscreants and thugs, disguised as protesters against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) leading to the wanton destruction of properties and vehicles at the palace. A chief among other palace officials, also sustained injuries.
“Contrary to the malicious and biased reports being circulated on social media, we state categorically that despite the needless provocations and ill-treatment meted out to the Royal household during the violent attack on the Palace, the Paramount ruler and his household did not retaliate.
“Kabiyesi, who was with his chiefs and subjects including the Minister of Youth and Sports Development (an indigene of Ogbomoso), when the hoodlums invaded the palace, advised the palace staff to refrain from attacking the hoodlums. Hence, none of the miscreants and thugs was attacked by the palace household but rather a chief, who was pelted with stones by the hoodlums sustained serious injuries.
“The dead bodies being circulated on social media were brought into the palace by the hoodlums to cause confusion and justify the attack on the palace.
“We are by this medium, advising the general public to disregard the fake news and media being circulated that some persons were feared dead in the Palace during the unwarranted attack.
“We also implore appropriate authorities to investigate the sad incident in a bid to bring the perpetrators of the attack to book and avert recurrence. The Palace appreciate all well-wishers who have, through various media, sent their wishes and support for Kabiyesi’s wellbeing over this unfortunate incident.”
The Ogbomoso deaths add to the fatality in the ongoing protests for police reforms across the country.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how a man was shot dead in Lagos on Monday, allegedly by the police.
The police, however, accused the protesters of shooting the victim and killing another protester.
Amnesty International estimates that at least 10 people have been killed by security agencies cross Nigeria during the protests which started last week, first to demand the dissolution of the notorious police unit, SARS, and then comprehensive police reforms.
— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) October 12, 2020