The peaceful protest organised by youths of Ogun State against the alleged incessant killings by customs officers almost turned violent when government officials tried to prevent the protesting youths from gaining access into the Okemosan office of the governor.
According to reports, the youths, who were led by the Chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Abduljabar Ayelaagbe, the lawmakers representing Yewa North 1 and 2, Haruna Egungbohun and Adegoke Adeyanju, were earlier stopped by security agents as they approached the main entrance of the governor’s office in Abeokuta.
But, the protesting youths defied all security arrangements as they bypassed the police and other agents, chanting “nobody can stop us from going in.”
As they moved towards the entrance, some government officials had ordered the closure of the gate to prevent the protesters from gaining entry.
Our correspondent reports that the development angered the youths and the lawmakers as it led to a shouting match between both parties.
Wasting no time, the protesters headed to the gate and forced it opened; as they marched to the Ogun House of Assembly complex, where they met with the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo.
Speaking with the Speaker, the NYCN State Chairman, Ayelaagbe expressed disappointment that some officials could bar the gates to prevent the youths from going into a public office, saying “denying us entry at the gate is a total negation of everything that Ogun State stands for.”
Ayelaagbe told the Speaker that the youths were on a peaceful demonstration to call the attention of the government to the rate at which youths of Ogun State were being killed, allegedly by men of the NCS.
He stressed the need for the Federal Government to amend the NCS act so as to put an end to indiscriminate shootings within the communities.
“We know there is a law that permits them to go into houses to bring out smuggled goods, but even at that, they have to be civilised in their operations. We can’t fold our arms and watch these killings continue.
“In the past one week, about four persons have been killed, while many were injured. Enough is enough!” he stressed.
Reacting, the Ogun Speaker, Oluomo apologised on behalf of the Ogun government that the gate was locked.
“Let me apologise on behalf of the government that the gate was locked. In fact, I have started trekking over to meet you at the gate that they should allow you to come in, because there is no reason why they will say people should not come and express their feelings,” Oluomo said.
He spoke further that the Ogun State House of Assembly shared the pains of residents of border communities who are usually the victims of customs killings.
“Let me assure you that the Ogun State House of Assembly shares your pains. We are 100 per cent with you. We identify with the people of Ogun West. Don’t forget we have earlier passed a resolution asking the governor to call a meeting of the NCS and all security agents in the state.
“I want to assure you that the house will again engage Mr. Governor and get him to react immediately to this matter. Don’t forget that until we have restructured this country, Mr. Governor is just a so-called Chief Security Officer.
“You should know that despite the fact that they say a governor is the Chief Security Officer of his state, there are underlying issues inhibiting his power to act. That is why we have to take it easy with the (state) government. The government will take it upon itself to fight this matter to the end.
“At the Ogun Assembly, we are going beyond saying it at the floor of the house, sending resolutions to the governor. We are taking it higher by the time we resume in January. We are going to take all necessary steps to make sure this is stopped. Injustice to one is injustice to all,” the Speaker assured.