In reaction to the protest held in Ibadan on Friday, The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde has revealed his plan to deploy Omituntun buses to major areas in the state to relieve Oyo residents on the current hardship.
This Newspaper had earlier reported that angry youths in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Friday staged a protest and blocked roads in reaction to the scarcity of fuel and cash notes in the country, which led to hardship in the past weeks.
Makinde, in his proactive response to the people’s need, had ordered a pause in his campaign train in solidarity with the protesters adding that the Government would provide succour to relieve Oyo residents of the continued hardship.
“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.” Makinde noted.
“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 is condemnable and will not be tolerated.
“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 the 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 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. 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.God bless Oyo State. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” The Governor noted.