Violence that has accompanied the #EndSARS protest continued with the burning down of the police A division by the youth in Akure on Wednesday.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) office along Oda Road just opposite Shoprite was also burnt down by the youths.
The protesting youth had earlier in the day set ablaze the secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) located at Oyemekun Road.
The hoodlums then went down to the Police A Division along Oba Adesida Road and forced out the officers on duty before torching it.
The secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akure, the Ondo State capital, was also burnt down by irate youth.
The police public relations officer, Tee Leo-Ikoro, confirmed the attacks to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday night.
He said the youth burnt down the station and destroyed properties.
“Police A Division burnt down, former SARS office burnt down, PDP secretariat burnt down,” he said.
The police spokesperson said the police command had put in place a strategy to curtail the activities of the hoodlums who had hijacked the protest.
“We thought that this was a peaceful protest, but it has turned into the destruction of lives and properties,” Mr Leo-Ikoro said.
“We can no longer watch this continue, we need to ensure there is a stop to it.”
The razing of the PDP secretariat occurred about three hours after the APC secretariat was also razed in a similar manner.
While the APC had promptly accused the PDP of masterminding the attack on its secretariat, the PDP had denied the allegation.
The PDP in its reaction to the burning of its secretariat said the attack was done by thugs loyal to the APC.
“Barely three hours after the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) fingered the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for setting their secretariat on fire, APC thugs were mobilised to set ablaze the PDP state secretariat in Akure,” said a statement signed by the party’s publicity secretary, Kennedy Peretei.
“There were insinuations that hoodlums who took advantage of the #EndSARS protest had earlier attacked the APC secretariat because of Covid-19 palliatives that were stored up there.
“But it is apparent that burning down our secretariat was a reprisal attack. A very wicked and unprovoked one for that matter.”
He said the police officers on duty narrowly escaped while the vehicles parked in the premises were burnt down, including a 30 seater bus.
He said generators and other office equipment were all destroyed.
“To say the least, this is most unfortunate and a great threat to democracy in our country,” Mr Peretei said.
“Those who have perpetrated this evil shall have themselves to blame in the fullness of time.”
But the APC has denied any involvement in the crisis.
APC spokesperson, Alex Kalejaiye, who had earlier accused the PDP of masterminding the burning of his party’s secretariat, said it had become clear that hoodlums who had hijacked the protest perpetrated the acts.
He said it had become clear that both political parties would need to come to a proper understanding of the issues and perhaps issue a joint statement on the development.
“This is an act carried out by some misguided youth trying to cause problems in the society,” Mr Kalejaiye said.
Mr Leo-Ikoro said the police would not link politics with the incidents that resulted in the burning of the parties’ secretariats.
He, however, said the police would investigate the issue to find out those responsible for the acts.
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