The government of Oyo State has announced closure of private and public schools in the state on Tuesday.
In a broadcast by His Excellecy, Seyi Makinde,the Executive Governor of Oyo State speaks on the End SARS Protests in Oyo State on October 20, 2020
Read details below…
“My Dear People of Oyo State,
I address you at this time to talk about some of the issues that have been thrown up by the End SARS protests in Oyo State. I have always said that peaceful protests are an important part of our democratic process, and no one should be harassed or brutalised for protesting. For this reason, we deployed members of Operation Burst to protect protesters. And we are happy to report that there have been no cases of disruptions of protest grounds in Oyo State since they started work.
However, the past two days have seen a new dimension to the ongoing protests. Thugs and hoodlums have taken advantage of the situation to perpetrate uncivil acts and harass citizens who are going about their day-to-day activities. Some thugs are going as far as forcing people who have businesses open to close shop and join in the protests. We know these are criminal elements. And so, as a state, we must act to protect the citizenry.
Therefore, we are deploying members of Operation Burst to various hotspots in Ibadan to arrest the situation and restore normalcy. The members of the team will continue to protect genuine protesters and their right to protest. But we can not allow persons with ulterior motives to hijack the protests.
We remain committed to the process of meeting the demands of these protests. Already, as promised, the Director of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice, Oyo State, has withdrawn cases against End SARS protesters, and those in custody have been released.
Also, the Oyo State Government has set up platforms for reporting past and present incidents of police brutality and injustice. This will naturally pave the way for the next steps in our quest to get justice for the victims. I urge the good people of Oyo State to trust the process that we have set up and rest assured that every case will be pursued to a logical conclusion.
I have directed that all schools in Ibadan, should be closed from tomorrow, Wednesday, October 21 2020 for the rest of this week. The situation will be reviewed on Friday, October 23 2020, and then further directives will be given.
Please call 615 should anyone attempt to disrupt your legitimate business activities.
We will continue to seek ways to engage with peaceful protesters. Our plan is that in the shortest possible time, we can finally say the days of large-scale and wanton police brutality and injustice is a thing of the past. Let me also use this opportunity to call on members of the Nigeria Police Force to remain professional in the discharge of their duties as they will be held responsible for their actions.
Good bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
God bless Oyo State.“
The Nation has however before the announcement observed most schools, (especially private) opted to send the notice of closure late in the night in the form of advisory, citing the uncertainty of the protests going awry.
Some public schools, who solely depend on the State Government directives opened but students were just strolling.
Most of the teachers were said to have been trapped in traffic and unable to get to school.
There was blockage on Tuesday morning in areas like Olodo Garage, Iyana Church, Iwo Road axis as well as Ife-Ibadan Express Road, Egbeda, Toll Gate to Iwo Road axis as the entire routes were blocked as early as 7:30am.
It was the same in Old-Ife Road, Wema, Gbagi, Sawmill, Agodi Gate as human and vehicular movement were obstructed by the # EndSARS protesters.
Residents around Challenge, Apata, New Garage, 110, Omi Adio, Molete, Beere, Ojoo, Moniya, Ibadan-Oyo Express road were also not spared of the traffic gridlock as roadblocks mounted by the protesters brought everything to a halt.
However, it was observed around Old-Ife Road that there was a mild clash between hoodlums, believed to be commercial drivers and #EndSARS protesters.
The drivers and transport workers distanced themselves from the protesters, saying they were on the roads to make ends meet.
They said activities of the protesters were having negative effects on their means of livelihood and cannot continue to fold their hands while they die of hunger.
The leaders of the group were heard issuing threats to the protesters to dare to stop them from collecting monies from motorists.
The hoodlums were also seen collecting money from road users, especially commercial operators including buses, motorcycles and tricycles.