By Yinka Adeniran, Ibadan
One student was feared shot dead on Saturday during a clash between #ENDSARS protesters and police operatives in Ogbomoso, Oyo state.
It was learnt the protest was allegedly hijacked by hoodlums who attempted to free detained suspects in Owode Ogbomoso Area Command Police station.
But the Police Command denied it shot any protester dead, stating it was forced to use tear gas to disperse the protesters.
Its Public Relations Officer, Olugbenga Fadeyi, said the Command has at different times given a free hand to the protesters across the state and wouldn’t have shot at people exer Reacting to a viral video on the alleged attack on the protesters, Fadeyi, a Superintendent of Police explained that the protesters were not hindered in any form during the exercise until they (protesters) started throwing stones into the Police premises and attempted to gain entrance into the premises.
Fadeyi said: “The attention of the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, CP. Joe Nwachukwu Enwonwu, has been drawn to the trending story/video that has been widely circulated on Social media today 10/10/2020 that Police killed a protester in Ogbomoso during the “EndSARS” protest.
“The CP wishes to state that the Police allowed the protesters to express their feelings during the protest and they were not hindered in any form until when they started throwing stones into the Police premises and attempted to gain entrance into the premises.
“The Police, in turn, used tear gas to disperse them from gaining entrance into the Owode Ogbomoso Area Command/Police Station to disperse them and preventing them from gaining entrance and attacking the station.
“The Police did not fire a shot or kill any protester as widely circulated.”
Sources said the shot youth was a student of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso.
According to another source, the protest became extremely violent when police started firing live bullets to disperse protesters after they visited the Palace of Soun of Ogbomosho before heading to the Area Police Command, Owode where the incident occurred.
About 80 percent of the youths, who participated in the protests, were said to be students of LAUTECH
Another unconfirmed source said another student simply identified as Gbohunmi from the CSE department was also shot but he didn’t die.
He explained that trouble started when hoodlums, suspected to be Yahoo boys and cultists hijacked the protest from the organisers, seeing it as an opportunity to invade the police station and free some detained suspected criminals.
Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare, an indigene of Ogbomoso, said he was disturbed by reports of tear-gassing and attack of protesters.
The Minister, who was reportedly working the phone lines to speak with the Area Commander, Ogbomoso also demanded the full protection of the protesting youths while demanding explanations on reports of casualties and injuries.
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