By Toba Adedeji, Osogbo and Osagie Otabor, Akure
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola said Sunday that the attack on his convoy by armed political thugs on Saturday was pre-planned.
This came as Southwest governors accused politicians of hijacking the #EndSARS protest with a view to visiting their frustrations on perceived opponents.
Speaking during a broadcast, Oyetola described the incident as unfortunate and against the Omoluabi ethos.
Oyeyola said: “Political thugs and hoodlums made failed attempts on my life and those of my aides while identifying with our beloved youths, who were engaging in legitimate protest against the alleged brutality of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the commando-style with which the assailants carried out their attack was deliberate and pre-planned. It was also evident that it was not the genuine protesters that carried out the violence.”
The governor added that preliminary investigation revealed that no live bullet or canister of teargas was fired at the rampaging political thugs.
Read Also: Osun gov, deputy escape death at #EndSARS protest
“Therefore, no life was lost at the scene of the incident. I was properly evacuated to safety.
“Regrettably, two lives were reportedly lost yesterday. But none occurred during the attack on me. One of the said deaths, which were caused by a lone motorcycle accident, occurred around 12noon, long before I got to the protest ground. The second death was said to have occurred around Ayepe, about five kilometres away from Olaiya, where we held the protest.”
The Southwest governors, who condemned the attack on Oyetola by #EndSARS protesters in Osogbo, described the attack as unwarranted, misdirected and repulsive.
Chairman of the South West Governor Forum, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in a statement issued in Akure, said the genuine #EndSARS movement had a popular and receptive attitude to it by the majority of Nigerians.
Akeredolu noted that policy-makers have seen the protest as an opportunity to deepen concern and redirect efforts towards veritable reforms aimed at achieving positive results.
He stated that the desirability or otherwise of the movement appeared to have come under a curious integrity test following the misdirected anger visited on Oyetola.
He said the attack was an act of terrorism under the guise of a civil and supposedly peaceful protest that has been hijacked by criminals and hoodlums hired by politicians.
The Ondo State governor noted that dangerous weapons were deployed in the ignoble act.
According to him, “Nothing more describes and represents this pernicious act as repulsive. It is, therefore, pertinent to call on the organisers to rein in stakeholders involved in the #EndSARS protests so as to stratify between those with genuine, altruistic desires for reforms and elements, who have offered themselves as mercenaries to unleash mayhem on innocent people.
“It must be noted that state governors stand in between two inescapable points of challenges: while they ought to be Chief Security Officers in their respective states, are indeed, compelled to act as such, the workability of such still remains some distance away from reality.
“In order words, the attack on Governor Oyetola or any other governor anywhere in the country is a clear infliction of double jeopardy. No governor is in charge of any police formation, unit or department.”
Akeredolu urged youths to hold firm their belief in the Nigerian Project and press for whatever is desirable to make it work.
He admonished them not to be useful tools in the hands of politicians at this trying period. Akeredolu and his deputy, Mr. Lucky Ayedatiwa, visited Oyetola yesterday in solidarity over the attack.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the governor, Mabel Aderonke, stated that Akeredolu, during the solidarity and “thank you” visit to Osogbo, hailed Oyetola for standing solidly behind him during his re-election.
The statement noted that Akeredolu described the incident as shocking and an assassination attempt on a sitting governor.
In his response, Oyetola thanked Akeredolu for the solidarity visit, congratulating him on the resounding victory at the recently concluded election.
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