Shooting: Aregbesola loyalists attack Osun CP, command denies bias accusation

Members of the faction of the All Progressives Congress in Osun State loyal to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday, stormed the headquarters of the state police command in Osogbo in protest against the alleged bias of the Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode, regarding Monday’s shooting in the state capital. A statement by the command’s spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, had said security men in the convoy of the minister shot without provocation while passing through the Old Garage area of Osogbo.

Shooting: Aregbesola loyalists attack Osun CP, command denies bias accusation
Members of the faction of the All Progressives Congress in Osun State loyal to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday, stormed the headquarters of the state police command in Osogbo in protest against the alleged bias of the Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode, regarding Monday’s shooting in the state capital. A statement by the command’s spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, had said security men in the convoy of the minister shot without provocation while passing through the Old Garage area of Osogbo. Led by the Chairman of the Aregbesola’s faction, Rasaq Salinsile, the protesters armed themselves with placards with varying inscriptions and accused Olokode of supporting Governor Adegboyega Oyetola. The protesters were, however, stopped a few meters away from the command’s entrance by armed policemen. Salinsile, before presenting the petition against Olokode to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Valentine Kanayo, condemned the police’s position on the shooting incident, saying there was no investigation into the incident before the command drew a conclusion. He also alleged that the CB had been compromised and asked him to seek redeployment from the state. Salinsile also said there were rumours that some members of the faction would be arrested before Saturday’s governorship primary of the APC and advised that the command must be unbiased in handling the situation. The petition against the CP read in part, “It is heart wrenching that your command has caved in totally to the lucre-based influence of Governor Gboyega Oyetola and shown unbridled loyalty to him by castigating the minister by the content of your press release. “It is a sad tale that your command, without any of your men in the minister’s convoy, as it pleases your master at Okefia Government House, concluded that the minister brought in hoodlums to disturb the peace of the state. “It is most sour that in your bid to play the master’s voice, your command alleged criminality against the minister, who served as governor for two terms of eight years in this state and without much criminal incidents as it is rampant now. “It will be interesting for you to let the world know how much investigation you carried out before you arrived at your conclusion in the press release. It is certain that your command’s position is a statement written for you from Governor Oyetola’s Okefia Government House and not proceeds from any investigation. “It is not surprising that your command has never deemed it fit to brief us and the general people of the state on the attack on the Oranmiyan House till now. May we ask why you have also refused to be giving us policemen whenever we have programmes, the last of which was the Iwo rally yesterday (Tuesday)? “We note with serious concern that your biased nature and lack of professional etiquette may run Osun into crisis if it’s not quickly curtailed. We have had cause to call on you to step down by asking for redeployment, because the people of Osun no longer have confidence in you by virtue of your lack of correct disposition towards your job.” Responding, Kanayo advised against allegations that could not be substantiated and assured the protesters that the command would continue to remain unbiased. He said, “The Osun State Police Command is not an appendage of any political party. I will not like a situation whereby one is called bad names; just call a dog a bad name to finish it. I was attentive to your speech. Permit me to say that your speech is circumstantially biased. “We are not biased. We monitor all events going on. Every request made by parties or individuals is treated.” A group, Concerned Citizens of Osun, had also alleged that the state government gave the sum of N1m to the leadership of the National Association of Osun State Students to protest at the headquarters of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Osogbo on Tuesday. The group, in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Afeez Olakunle, expressed concern that the state government was dragging students into the internal crisis of the All Progressives Congress in the state. It alleged that an unnamed aide to the state governor worked with NAOSS leadership to stage the protest, insisting that the protest against the NSCDC was politically motivated. But when contacted, the NAOSS President, Moshood Yusuf, challenged the group to bring out proof that he collected money to mobilise students for the protest, adding that he witnessed the alleged shooting by the NSCDC operatives in the convoy of Aregbesola, on Monday. The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ismail Omipidan, and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Students’ Mobilisation, Kehinde Ayantunji, both declined to make comments on the allegations. NUJ demands public apology from NSCDC for attack on journalists The Osun State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists has condemned the attack on one of its members, Toba Adedeji of The Nation Newspaper, by operatives of the NSCDC in the state, and demanded a public apology from the command. Some NSCDC operatives had manhandled some plain-clothed policemen and journalists, including Adedeji, at the scene of a protest by members of NAOSS on Tuesday. The Chairman of the NUJ in the state, Wasiu Ajadosu, and the Secretary, Bukola Elufadejin, described the attack on Adedeji as barbaric and uncivilised. The union warned that it would no longer condone such attacks on its members, especially in the political season, saying security agents must not allow themselves to be used for political games in the state. It demanded a public apology from the Osun State Command of the NSCDC, adding that it would be left with no other option but to stop the coverage of all activities of the command if it failed to apologise to it.