Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has been accused of ordering an attack on some activists during a “peace walk” in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The peace walk was held to protest against the deforestation of Agodi phase 2 of the Ogunpa forest reserve.
The African Action Congress (AAC) on Tuesday joined civil societies to converge at the entrance of Agodi Parks and Gardens for Green Walk for the Protection of Agodi Gardens, which is reportedly being sent into extinction by the Seyi Makinde-led administration.
However, one of the protesters, Kazeem Olalekan Israel (GANI) in a statement obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday accused Governor Makinde of attacking the protesters.
The group asserted that Governor Makinde’s attack on protesters would not make them shy away from the restoration campaign of Agodi Gardens.
The activist explained that the violent contempt for basic rights and the serious battery of the rule of law as exhibited on Tuesday with the dehumanisation of everyone involved in the walk imperil democracy and progress and are also an invitation to anarchy.
He stated that Governor Makinde must rescind his decision to convert the forest reserve to a housing estate and replace the trees that had been felled.
The statement reads in part, “We had earlier converged at the entrance of Agodi Parks and Gardens this morning for the Green Walk for the Protection of Agodi Gardens, which is being sent into extinction by the Seyi Makinde-led administration.
“The walk extended from Agodi Gardens entrance to the Governor’s office, to the House of Assembly complex, Ministry of Lands and finally to the Ogunpa Forest Reserve which houses Agodi Zoological and Botanical Garden as it then was before it was changed to Agodi Parks and Gardens after it was brought back to life by Ajimobi in 2014.
“It was while we were still at the forest understudying the extent of destruction that had been done that we got an intelligence report that the de-facto governor of the state was seen around the vicinity with a Police Hilux. Upon hearing that, it was agreed that everyone should move out of the forest, which is already being destroyed with a massive clearing already done on the land.
“Interestingly, we got to realise that two of the cars that were parked had already been towed by men of OYRTMA. It was while we were discussing going to OYRTMA office to claim these vehicles that 6 buses fully loaded with PMS miscreants under the leadership of one Alhaji Tommy parked very close to where we were. Though none of them came down at first, they were simply observing us with horse whips and different charms in their hands.
“Upon our arrival at the OYRTMA office at the Oyo State Secretariat to claim the vehicles that they had towed, we were heavily descended upon by these PMS miscreants, who had already been drafted to attack everyone who participated in the walk. They brutalised both girls and boys right inside the state government secretariat on the orders of the governor.
“The attack this afternoon has unveiled Seyi Makinde as an agent of destabilisation that he is. It shows gross irresponsibility by this administration. It is sad and very unfortunate that they could attack protesters right inside the State government’s secretariat on the orders of the governor. One can only imagine what could have happened if these touts had met everyone in the forest reserve, which is already been destroyed.
“Though, we understand how much they have been trying at falsehood, misrepresentation, obfuscation and threats fed by a welter of sentiments which mirrors the usual partisan fault lines that hobble objectivity and inhibit the type of consensus that activate positive change by claiming that no attack was initiated against those who participated in the walk, but reverse was the case.
“However, we must remind Seyi Makinde that the violent contempt for basic rights and the serious battery of the rule of law as exhibited this afternoon with the dehumanisation of everyone involved in the walk imperil democracy and progress and is also an invitation to anarchy.
“Outsiders would have thought that Auxiliary was acting on his own with the series of attacks which accompanied his name during the first term of the governor, alas! He was simply doing the bidding of the governor. He was following instructions.
“It will therefore amount to delusion to assume that the exit of Auxiliary as the Chairman of Disciplinary Committee of Oyo State Park Management System is the exit of thuggery in Oyo State. The Disciplinary Committee of the Park Management System is the assault team of the governor against dissent.
“I must state without fear of contradiction that today’s attack epitomises the irresponsible predilection of Governor Seyi Makinde for lawlessness. The drafting of PMS miscreants to attack peaceful protesters who had organised to campaign against deforestation and attack on wildlife as being promoted by Oyo State validates the consensus that Seyi Makinde is unfit for public office.
“Anyone who could mobilise thugs to attack citizens is accursed. Meanwhile, the people of Oyo State are tired of reckless politicians fomenting tension and hiring touts to test-run their will.
“As against the misinformation being sponsored on different news channel by the state government that the state government is simply clearing a jungle to convert it into a housing estate, the Oyo State government under Seyi Makinde is attacking wildlife. It is obvious according to what we saw this afternoon that the zoological garden is also being cleared to pave the way for a housing estate. In fact, a small monkey which was seen there was screaming for help.”
“Governor Seyi Makinde must rescind his decision to convert the forest reserve to a housing estate and replace the trees that had been felled off,” the statement added.