The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Nwachukwu Enwonwu, on Saturday described as untrue a story trending on social media which accused the State Police Command of the arrest of #EndSARS protesters.
The Commissioner made the clarification in a statement issued on his behalf by Command spokesman Olugbenga Fadeyi, which was made available to reporters in Ibadan.
The #EndSARS protests have persisted in Oyo State, especially in Ibadan, the State capital, for several days, with protesters barricading major roads, which has caused intractable traffic jams in many parts of the city. The flashpoints have been Iwo Road Interchange, the front of the University of Ibadan, Challenge, and the main entrance to the Oyo State Government Secretariat at Agodi, Ibadan.
The protests had on many occasions led to security personnel locking the secretariat gates for several hours, with workers and visitors to the secretariat held to ransom for hours.
The protesters turned their demonstrations to a carnival Friday night as many spent the night under the bridge in front of the government secretariat, with popular Fuji music artiste Saheed Osupa performing a free concert, in addition to food, water and other drinks made available for participants.
Commissioner Enwonwu stated that the protesters have been having a free day to carry out their protests undisturbed and without police interference. Governor Seyi Makinde had on Tuesday directed the police in the State to stand down and allow other security agencies to be on the frontline in securing the lives of protesters, following the rise in the death toll of the #EndSARS protesters from one to three in Ogbomoso.
The police warned ‘all those who have perfected strategies to continue to disturb the relative peace being enjoyed by the citizens of Oyo State to desist from such, as these unpalatable story can degenerate to an uproar and give disgruntled elements an opportunity to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens in the State.’
Enwonwu advised the media to always confirm stories from relevant government agencies such as the police before going ahead to publish them, restating his efforts to continue to give maximum protection to the lives and property of citizens while the protests last and beyond.