By Abdulwahid Onanuga
It was a usual peaceful morning along Agboyi road, Alapere today (Monday 25th, November 2019) until commotion erupted from the LCDA Area with booms of guns . lt was said to be as result of the peaceful protest by members of commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as “Okada riders” against their leadership which led to arrest and beating of innocent residents including looting of shops, throwing and smashing of bottles by thugs attached to the Task Force along Agboyi road. The policemen were sporadically shooting to scare resident while the thugs were asking people to go inside.
These did not only create panic around the neigbourhood but also lost of property as a result of the ruthless invasion in which policemen and boys ‘thugs’ armed with cutlasses and crates of bottles carted away from shops. The attack by the security men especially by the armed ‘thugs’ in their midst caused colosal panic, attack and arrest of innocent people in the neighbourhood. About 15 students from Agidi Comprehensive high school compound were affected by tear gas and hospitalised while more than 800 of okadas have been seized (more than 90% of these okadas were taken from residential homes. Some of these bikes are not even used for commercial purposes. For instance a bike located at 2, Ogunlana Street off Agboyi road belonging to one Mr Ayobami Olajide who is not a commercial okada rider. ln fact, the okada is not working as at the time of the raide. Also, a car parked at Aina Obe junction had its glass smashed by the thugs attached to the police.
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Also, three innocent persons were beaten up by the thugs and arrested by the policemen at the same street, their names are: Lekan Adewoyin, Abiodun Giwa and Dauda Oriade who is a cobler he only came to stand in for his mum while Opeyemi was hit by broken bottles thrown by one of the boys. Doors and fence were broken by the thugs before the police arrest of innocent people who are not Okada riders.
There were reports of looting of shops along Agboyi road as more than 20 crates of bottles of bears were freely thrown creating panic and destruction of innocents residents.
At the Mile 12, police post, the harrasment continued as a lady’s phone was collected while a man was tear gas .
On questioning of thugs in the police invasion,a policeman responded that they were “paramilitary men” working with the task force and without them the work wont be easy for them.
A proper investigation should be carried out to ascertain the following;
- The true motive of the protest?
- At what point did a peaceful protest turned violent?
- Why were innocent people (especially students) molested/harassed and arrested?
- Why the use of Thugs by the Police Task Force?
- Why are the bikes of riders who didn’t participate in the protest taken away (most of the bikes were taken from privates homes and not on the road)?
- Any violator of the law should be arrested and prosecuted accordingly
As at 11pm on Monday, more than 20 Innocent people arrested were released after been screen by the Chairman of the Task force. The prompt action of the chairman is commendable.