The governor of Ogun State, Gboyega Oyetola, on Sunday said the attempt on his life by assailants during Saturday’s protest against the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, in the state was pre-planned.
Mr Oyetola, in a state broadcast on Sunday in Osogbo, said preliminary investigation revealed that the commando style in which the assailants carried out their attack justified his claim that the act was pre-planned
According to him, the attempt on his life could not have been planned by the youths who constitute over 60 per cent of the voters who elected him into office.
Mr Oyetola, who noted that he was properly evacuated to safety during the incident ,said no life was lost at the scene as no live bullet or cannister of teargas was fired at the “rampaging political thugs.”
“Yesterday evening, 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 SARS.
“My entourage and I joined protesters from Alekuwodo area to Olaiya Junction chanting solidarity songs with them and encouraging them along the way.
“During the course of my address to the protesters to reiterate our cooperation and support, political thugs hijacked the exercise and hurled stones and dangerous weapons at us and vandalised several cars in my convoy,” Oyetola said.
The governor also said the two lives reportedly lost was not during the attack on him.
According to him, one of the said deaths caused by a lone motorcycle accident occurred at about 12noon, long before he got to the protest ground.
He added that the second death was said to have occurred around Ayepe, about five kilometers away from Olaiya where the protest was held.
” We sympathise with the families of the diseased and pray to God to grant them the fortitude to bear the great losses.
“I have directed that the incidents be properly investigated with a view to ascertaining the causes of the deaths,” the governor said.
Oyetola also said that government would be setting up a Judicial Panel of Enquiry in line with the directive of the National Economic Council to investigate all related cases of abuse and brutality by the disbanded SARS and the attack on him.
“What happened on Saturday is objectionable, unacceptable and a blight to the Omoluabi ethos that the state of Osun stands for.
“Osun youths who are the original #EndSARS protesters have travelled the long road of building a better Osun with us and we have been on the lane of delivering a better and prosperous Osun together.
“This assassination attempt could not have come from them.
“The protesters have engaged in peaceful demonstration for the first two days before it was later hijacked in the last five days.
“In fact, we had cause to raise the alarm last Wednesday to the effect that the protest had been hijacked,” Mr Oyetola said.
The governor, however, enjoined all citizens to be peaceful and be law abiding, adding that all efforts would be made to protect them and their property.
Mr Oyetola, who noted that government was on top of the situation, said that the perpetrators of the dastardly act would be brought to justice.
“We commit to the cause of our youths and the #EndSARS protesters and shall do everything to ensure that their demands are met.
“We shall not condone any act that will compromise the lives of our people and the hard-won ranking of our state as the most peaceful state in Nigeria.
“As a responsible government, we will do everything in our powers to protect the lives and property of our people,” the governor said.