By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti
Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital was on Friday grounded to halt by hundreds of youths protesting against the brutality and extrajudicial killings by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The protesters, who converged at the popular Fajuyi park, blocked major roads in the state, thereby massive causing gridlock.
Several motorists en route to Ekiti Assembly, Government Secretariat, Bank road, Adebayo Road and Basiri areas in Ado-Ekiti were stranded for hours and forced to make a detour for alternative routes to their destinations.
The protest was in continuation of the nationwide demonstration by youths against police brutality, calling on government to begin the process of massive reforms in the policing sector in the country.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was on his way to the House of Assembly for a State of the State address to mark his second anniversary as Governor, was forced to stop and speak to the protesters.
While reiterating that the youths had genuine agitation for holistic reforms in the police, Fayemi appealed to them to continue their protest in a peaceful manner and avoid it being hijacked by hoodlums.
The Governor, who had hectic time addressing the youths, noted government at the federal and the state level had received their demands, saying actions are being taken towards renewing the confidence of the people in the police.
According to him: ” When I was young, I can tell you that I participated in so many protests against the military and I want to say what you are doing now is not against the law because you have genuine reasons for protesting and we know it.
“I will continue to appeal to you to remain peaceful as you are doing now and government is doing everything possible to address your concerns. You have to show more understanding with the government.”
Fayemi assured the protesting youths an end had come to police harassment and intimidation of innocent persons in the society.
The protesters later stormed the House of Assembly when Fayemi was presenting the state of the state address and created atmosphere of unrest within the complex.
It took the intervention of the police for Fayemi and other dignitaries to be whisked out of the place unhurt, as the protesters became unruly.
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