The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has called for a full investigation into the killing of a youth during the “EndSARS” protest in Ogbomoso, Oyo State on Saturday.
Dare described the death of Isiaka Jimoh, an Ogbomoso indigene, alongside a few injured youths during the protest as sad and regrettable.
The minister, in a statement issued by his special adviser, media, Mr John Joshua-Akanji on Sunday in Abuja, stressed the need to bring to justice, all those responsible for the death of the protesting youth.
The minister, who spoke with Isiaka’s mother, commiserated with her and the entire family, promising that those responsible would be made to face the full wrath of the law for their despicable action.
He promised to visit the family of the deceased shortly.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that one of the injured students, Oluwadamilare Gbolohunmi, was also said to have received a call from the minister while receiving treatment at the hospital.
The minister pledged to ensure his safety as well as the payment of his medical bill before being discharged from the hospital.
“The past few days have been troubling. The demands of the youth for an end to SARS and police brutality must be taken seriously.
“Protests are not, in themselves, unlawful but they must be done in a peaceful manner and not allowed to be hijacked by hoodlums.
“Government is committed to a revamp of the system and must be given a chance to do this,” the minister said.
Dare said that the Federal Government was working with relevant stakeholders to reform the police, in line with international best practice.
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“There is a renewed commitment at the highest level of government to institute far-reaching reforms that will see a better era of policing.
“Our youths are our greatest resources and we must protect them, and not waste them,” Dare said.
He said that plans were underway for further meetings in Abuja during the week as well as consultations with youth groups towards the start of a dialogue process.
NAN reports that Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State had also condemned the shooting by the police during the protest.
NAN also reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Friday, met with the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, with a pledge to ensure reforms in the police.
Thousands of protesters, mostly youths, across the country have been demanding for an end to police brutality and the scrapping of SARS, owing to alleged brutality of its men.
Meanwhile, Senators Teslim Folarin (APC-Oyo Central) and Abdulfatai Buhari (APC-Oyo North) have also condemned the killing of Isiaq Jimoh during the protest in Ogbomoso.
The lawmakers gave the condemnation in their separate statements made available to newsmen on Sunday in Ibadan.
Folarin, in a statement signed by his media aide, Yekeen Olaniyi, expressed displeasure over what he described as the inhumane actions of the FSARS men.
While commiserating with the family of Jimoh, he called on the Commissioner of Police in the state to unveil the trigger-happy policeman behind the gruesome killing.
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The three-term lawmaker said that the matter should be investigated with a view to prosecuting the culprit to serve as a deterrent to other officers and men of SARS.
“I condemn, in strongest and unmistaken term, the extrajudicial killing of one of our youths in Ogbomoso, in person of Isiaq Jimoh.
“This is one death too many in the hands of the operatives of SARS, as the media is replete with reports of similar treatments and murder of other innocent Nigerians in different parts of the country.
“Senseless harassment, maiming and killing of unarmed citizens are completely unacceptable. Police officers are to protect Nigerians and make lawful arrests.
“I, however, appreciate the determination of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to ensure a comprehensive reform and overhaul of the operations of the police unit.
“The IGP must order the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State to unveil the officer who shot dead the young man with a view to prosecuting him.
“While I commiserate with the family and friends of the late Jimoh, I pledge to join other stakeholders to seek justice for the victim,” he said.
Also, Buhari described the killing of Jimoh during the EndSARS protest in Ogbomoso as shocking and disheartening.
Buhari, the chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, said that the nation’s constitution and democracy permitted freedom of speech as well as association.
The lawmaker said that it was undemocratic to assault, maim or kill citizens, while expressing their fundamental human rights.
“Democratically, peaceful protests put the government on the right track to deliver the dividends of democracy to the citizens.
“The situation is regrettably painful and I am sure the Commissioner Of Police, Nwachukwu Enwonwu, and other relevant authorities are fully investigating the very unfortunate incident with the aim of bringing the perpetrators to justice.
“I wish those receiving treatment at the Bowen Teaching Hospital soonest recovery from the various injuries they sustained and also express my deepest sympathy to the family of the deceased,” Buhari said.
The lawmaker prayed Allah to grant Jimoh aljanah fridaous and his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss. (NAN)
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