A protest to call for the impeachment of Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday did not end well as hoodlums, allegedly sent by the ruling party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) attacked the protesters.
One of the anti-Aregbesola groups, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice, CHRSJ in its reaction strongly condemned the governor for allegedly sending “thugs popularly known as ‘State Boys’ to disrupt a peaceful protest against his government, which was organized by no fewer than 20 human rights and faith-based groups, under the aegis of Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State, CSCEOS”.
The anti-Aregbesola protesters, in a march organised by a group Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun to rally support for the investigation of the governor by the state House of Assembly into the petition written by Justice Oloyede Folahanmi, shortly after it took off at Ayetoro junction, were pelted with sachet water by some suspected thugs. But the protesters returned stronger, when they threw several sachet water packs back at the attackers, forcing them to retreat.
The thugs, however, staged another attack on the protesters who were mostly members of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, beating some of them with horsewhips.
In its reaction, the PDP, through Prince Diran Odeyemi, told Vanguard: “You all witnessed what happened in Osogbo today. State sponsored hoodlums and APC thugs attacked old men and women doing a peaceful protest, beating them.
“Funny enough, the party is blaming PDP for the crime its men committed. I advise them to devise new means of doing things because their old ways of committing crime and blaming it on the other party is no longer working,” he said.
Some pro-Aregbesola groups also staged a counter-rally, which the APC claimed was aimed at celebrating the federal government’s intervention in states unable to pay workers’ salaries.
The PPRO of the state police command, Mrs Folashade Odoro, in her reaction, condemned the development. She said none of the two groups got police permission to stage any rally.