‘Citizens Were Pushed To The Wall’ – Makinde Reacts To Violent Protests In Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has said the violent protests that happened in Ibadan, the state capital were uncalled for if the federal government had addressed the fuel and new naira notes scarcity.
Makinde, in a state-wide broadcast on Friday night, stated that the continuous fuel shortage and the scarcity of the naira have led to slow economic activities across the country.
He said his administration was ready to cushion the effect of the fuel scarcity and naira crises in the country on residents of the state with the deployment of free ‘Omituntun’ transport buses.
The governor said the buses will be deployed to more routes within the state to convey residents free of charge in order to ameliorate the suffering of the people.
In the broadcast, Makinde said, “My Dear Good People of Oyo State.
“I am addressing you today because of the prevailing conditions in our state and country that have led to protests and riots, especially in Ibadan.
“First, let me say that I understand the need for these protests. When citizens get pushed to the wall, there is only so much that they can take.
“The continuous fuel scarcity and the scarcity of the naira have led to slow economic activities. I must repeat, I understand, and I feel your pain.
“I have always maintained that peaceful protests are fine. When things are not going how we want them to go, we have a right and even a responsibility to protest.
“Let me also state that while we are protesting, we must remember how easily a peaceful protest can turn violent and lead to the loss of lives and property. The violence that erupted in parts of Ibadan today (Friday) is condemnable and will not be tolerated.”
The governor also announced the suspension of his campaign activities due to the protests, saying that violence cannot and will not solve the problems facing the country.
Makinde said he was working with the chairmen of local governments in the state to provide immediate palliatives for the vulnerable people in order to alleviate the hardships that the crises had brought upon them.
He, however, condemned the violent protests, stressing that his government would not condone the breakdown of law and order in the state.
Makinde urged residents of the state to express their grievances peacefully, saying that security agencies in the state have been put on high alert to avert any breakdown of law and order.
He added: “In response to this, I have suspended all campaign activities forthwith. I have also met with the heads of security agencies in Oyo State to restore calm and maintain peace in our dear state.
“Violence cannot and will not solve our problems, it only creates new ones. We have another opportunity in a few weeks to move this country in a new direction. Use your PVC, not violence.
“We must not allow elements within us who have other motives to take advantage of peaceful protests to perpetrate evil or push their agendas.
“I urge all law-abiding citizens and residents of the state to go about their lawful activities. All our security agencies are on high alert and so, peaceful residents of the state have no cause to fear.
“As a palliative measure, I have directed that the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses should be deployed to more routes within the state for free.
“We are also working with Local Government Chairmen to see what immediate palliatives we can make available to the most vulnerable amongst us to alleviate the hardships that the twin scarcity of fuel and the naira have brought upon our people.
“Once again, we have another opportunity to put an end to oppressive systems and that is through the ballot. For now, I urge everyone to remain calm as we are doing our best to mitigate the hardships.”