The Civil Societies Coalition for Emancipation of Osun State warns that Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State is using the police to harass and intimidate members of opposition in the state
THE Civil Societies Coalition for Emancipation of Osun State, CSCEO, has accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of using the police and armoured vehicles to intimidate and harass innocent citizens of the state.
The group in a statement signed by Adeniyi Sulaiman, its chairman, released by its directorate of Media and Research after its emergency meeting in Osogbo on Friday, July 24, noted that “gradually, Osun state is turning to a police state in a supposedly democratic government.”
The group alleged that an event tagged ‘A day summit on the state of Osun State’ was almost marred by the police on Thursday, July 23. Sulaiman said the state government and the All Progressives Congress, APC, having failed to stop the summit from being held, resorted to using the police against the organisers. He alleged that Abubakar Marafa, state police commissioner, mobilised armoured vehicles to block the entrance of the hotel where the event was being held and drafted more than 200 policemen to stop the summit.
“It is unbelievable that the state commissioner of Police will issue a statement saying he did not grant a permit for the summit. This was billed to be an indoor programme where former governors, former deputy-governors, senators, monarchs and top people were invited as guests with a retired justice of the Supreme Court as the chairman,” he Sulaiman said, adding: “This was being done to satisfy Aregbesola who did not want any opposing views to his failed and clueless regime. This is not a military era. This is a democratic government with provisions clearly stating constitutional rights of individuals including freedom of speech and association.”
The CSCEO boss said this was not the first time that such thing would happen. He recalled that the police similarly rolled out armoured vehicles against members of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, during a peaceful rally on Tuesday, July 7, against the government of Aregbesola.
“For three days between July 6 and 8, residents of Osogbo, the state capital were subjected to perpetual fear as they were being terrorised by fully armed policemen with armoured tanks being recklessly driven along major roads of the town,” he said.
Despite the presence of policemen on the streets, the group alleged that the “governor’s ‘State Boys’ were allowed to unleash terror on the protesters with many old people sustaining various degree of injuries.”
That notwithstanding, the CSCEO said to its amazement, no arrest was made by the police. The group, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector-General of Police, the National Human Right Commission, NHRC, and the international community especially the Amnesty International to pay special attention to the activities to Governor Aregbesola and all security agencies in the state.
The face-off in Osun State has been on seven-month unpaid workers’ salaries and pension areas.
— Jul 24, 2015 @ 15:30 GMT