By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has called on the Commissioner of Police to ensure the safety of all individuals and organisations involved in peaceful protests.
This call was in the wake of civil agitations and pockets of violent attacks over the police brutality that has become endemic to operatives of the F-SARS arm of the Nigeria Police,
New Nigerian as well recalls that over the weekend, some protesters who prostested against F-SARS unbecoming operations were arrested for disrupting Owu Day ceremony where the former President, Chief Obasanjo and the State Deputy Governor Engr.Noimot Oyedele-Salako were in attendance.
Governor Abiodun however said that, “As a Government which promised to ensure the safety and security of its law-abiding citizens, it is our first duty to keep the people safe from harm,” the letter outlined the primary role of the State Government.
According to a press release by the Governor Media team, Governor further directed that no peaceful protester should be harmed or arrested, but in a situation where there is any form of unlawful protest leading to the vandalization of public properties, perpetrators of such dastardly act will be brought to book accordingly.
“It is essentially the civic right of all citizens to make known their grievances through peaceful protests and demonstrations that will foment no danger to the State and other persons.
“When these individuals then exercise their rights, there should be no fear or arrest of harm from the Nigeria Police.
“In this line, this is to make it clear that all officers of the Nigeria Police, Ogun State be directed not to harm or arrest any citizen involved in the peaceful protests gaining traction over the Country.
“Meanwhile, all persons already arrested should have undeterred access to legal representation that will ensure a fair review of their individual circumstances, as this State Government will not condone infringement on the rights of any citizen.”
Governor Abiodun however stated his understanding of the dire situation occasioned by some unscrupulous elements who took advantage of the situation to vandalise State property and Police stations and vehicles.
“I am equally aware of the growing violence that has emerged from this situation, especially as State property and Police stations, vehicles and personnel have been attacked by unscrupulous elements who have taken advantage of the unfortunate situation.
“As provoking as this admittedly is, the State Command of the Nigeria Police under your watch should under no circumstance, resort to lethal control that will endanger the life of any citizen,” the letter concluded.
Earlier, the State Governor had in a personal post on his verified Facebook page appealed to the good people of the State to desist from all violence acts of destruction and vandalism, while he swore to continue seeking the safety of the entire citizenry.