An Abuja based lawyer, Maxwell Ugwuoke has condemned the attack on Osun state Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola and the setting on fire of a shopping mall and NIPOST office in Osogbo by #ENDSARS protesters.
The lawyer who was reacting to questions on the new dimension of the protest, said reports from across many states indicate that the protesters are becoming violent, which is a deviation from their earlier tactics.
“The attack on the convoy of Osun state Governor’s convoy when he wanted to address the protesters which led to the damage of some vehicles including that of the governor and setting on fire of Osun Shopping Mall and NIPOST office in Osogbo are a deviation from the protest’s original agenda by its conveyers. If the protest is becoming violent, it becomes necessary that government should step in, use requisite measures to bring it to an end.
“The truth is that when protesters begin to abuse the rights of other citizens, government has the responsibility to restore order, using minimal force, if necessary,” he said.
When asked what he meant by ‘minimal force,’ the lawyer said government knows what to do and must not shy away from its responsibilities of securing the lives and property of citizens, including those of protesters and innocent citizens going about their business.
“The government should know what to do to bring the situation under control. Protesters have the right to agitate but must be peaceful as is done in other climes. When you resort to violence like it happened in Osogbo and some other places are reported by the media, then the situation has to be brought to a stop one way or the other; and that is the duty of government,” he said.
It would be recalled that the convoy of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola was attacked by protesters on Saturday when he wanted to address them. Some vehicles on the governor’s convoy were destroyed but his aides successfully whisked the governor away.
The protesters also attacked Osun Mall, a shopping complex located along Osogbo/Gbongan Road and looted some shops in the building while they also set NIPOST office in the state capital on fire.