Mon, Oct 02, 2023

Stone throwing protesters attack Mimiko's convoy in Ondo

Stone throwing protesters attack Mimiko's convoy in Ondo

Why is Governor Olusegun Mimiko bent on presenting the 2017 Budget of Ondo state before lawmakers with few days left in office? This question is being asked by many stakeholders in the state who feared there is more to it than meets the eye.

This may not be unconnected with the attack on the convoy of the state governor by protesters on Thursday as the crisis rocking the House of Assembly took a dangerous twist.

The protesters smashed the side screens of two vehicles in the governor’s convoy which could have been more but for the timely intervention of the men of the state police command who dispersed them.  Following the protest, Mimiko reportedly shifted the budget presentation to another day.

The protesters alleged that the governor wanted to sponsor 38 bills and ensure that the bills were passed into law before his tenure expired on February 23, 2017.

The protesters vowed to prevent the governor from presenting the appropriation bill to the Assembly. The protesters immediately after sighting the convoy on the road leading to the House of Assembly, started throwing stones at the governor's team.

Leader of the protesters, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, condemned the action of the police in dispersing them, saying that the protest was not a violent one.

“We don’t know why there is this issue of sporadic shooting by the police in a peaceful protest.

“It is uncalled for, and we are calling on the Inspector General of Police, well-meaning Nigerians and citizens of Ondo state to look into the matter.

“What we are protesting for is to tell our people that the governor is bringing a bill that will bring untold hardship to the people of the state. We are not violent with it,” he said.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, who confirmed the attack on the governor’s convoy, explained that the police had to disperse the protesters when they appeared to be going violent.

He said that the Commissioner of Police in the state was not biased, saying his interest was to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order.

“We initially allowed them to protest peacefully, we also appealed to them to be peaceful but when they started barricading the road throwing stones at the governor’s convoy, we have to disperse them,” he said.


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