Following the jailbreak at Benin prison by suspected hoodlums under the guise of EndSARS protest, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has imposed a 24-hour curfew in the state. Obaseki said hoodlums have hijacked the #EndSARS protest and the government would not allow it to continue.
Obaseki, in a statement signed by Osarodion Ogie, secretary to the state government, said the curfew will remain across the state till further notice. “The curfew is to take effect from 4pm, October 19, 2020. This decision has become necessary because of the very disturbing incidents of vandalism and attacks on private individuals and institutions by hoodlums in the guise of #ENDSARS protesters,” the statement read.
“While the government of Edo State respects the rights of its citizens to undertake legitimate protests, it cannot sit idly when hoodlums have taken laws into their hands to cause mayhem on innocent citizens and the state. By the directive, schools and businesses are to shut down activities accordingly. Those, who cannot move safely, are to stay put between now and 4 pm till calmness is restored.
“Parents are advised to rein in their children, youths and wards, to forestall further breakdown of law and order. The responsibility of government is to protect lives and property and maintain law and order, therefore, anyone found outside in violation of the curfew would be dealt with according to the law,” he said.
Hoodlums had earlier in the day besieged the prison building chanting for the release of the prisoners when the inmates took advantage of the situation to break through the roof and escape after scaling the barbed wire fence.
Realnews recalls that a police station at Idogbo on the Upper Sokponba axis of Benin City was earlier set ablaze by thugs within the area.
As a result this development, banks in Benin have shut down operations over the inability of their staff to access their duty posts.
Realnews reports that EndSARS protesters had as at 6:00 a.m. blocked major roads within the Benin metropolis, preventing vehicular movement.
The roads are Oluko-Isihor-Ugbowo-Uselu, Ring road-Sapele, Ring-Ekehuan, Aduwawa – Akpakpava, Airport, amongst others. Besides, while Automated Teller Machine, ATM, booths outside the banking premises were functional but most businesses along major roads were closed.
Some school children were also ordered to go back home by their respective schools due to the shutdown of schools. Similarly, motorists were unable to go about their commercial activities as their routes were barricaded by protesters.
The roadblocks by the protesters also forced residents to embark on long treks to get to their various destinations.
Realnews recalls that the EndSARS protesters had earlier in the month blocked the Benin-Lagos expressway at the University of Benin main gate, and the Benin-Auchi expressway at the bypass axis causing heavy traffic gridlocks.
The #ENDSARS protested which began on October 8 after SARS operatives killed him by shoving out from their vehicle while in motion has been going on nationwide and causing a lot of traffic as protesters mostly youths call on the government to end SARS.
The Nigerian Police Force has replaced SARS with Special Weapons and Tactics Squad, SWATS, but the youth see it as a change in name only and not in modus operandi.
Realnews reports that the police has started training for the operatives of SWATS today.
– Oct. 19 2020 @ 17:05 GMT |