23rd February, 2011
The chairman of Epe Local Government, Epe, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, Hon. Segun Agbaje has declared that the recent protests in Epe as a result of the killing of a woman during the clashes between cult members was politically motivated.
He added that the protesters only used the death of the woman as an excuse to vandalize and loot properties and sensitive documents from the Epe Local Government Secretariat and Guest House.
Speaking with P.M.NEWS on the protests, Agbaje said the incident, which led to the death of the innocent housewife, was uncalled for while the killing of the woman by suspected cultists was not only barbaric, but unwarranted.
He said, “the issue of cultism in Epe has been on ground before I came into office. After my assessment of the situation, I discovered that the youths were not fully engaged and I quickly swung into action and as at today, we have been able to provide jobs for about 150 of them in Epe, our own way of empowering some of them.”
“We also empowered the police to fight the cultists to a standstill. The police in Epe have been doing a good job but any time suspects are arrested and transferred to the state C.I.D, Panti, Yaba, Lagos and the state Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja, the suspects, who though were arrested with arms and ammunition, would find their way out,” he added.
“We have been trying to know those that usually stand as surety for them, all to no avail.”
Asked why he thought the protests were politically motivated, the chairman said on the day of the incident, when the protesters marched to the local government secretariat and the guest house, “I was not around, but my staff told me that the protesters were chanting war songs, ‘we are going to chase the ACN out of Epe in the coming general election’; what has that got to do with the death of a housewife or cultists fighting themselves. Almost all the protesters belong to cult groups in Epe. Who is fooling who? Residents should assist the government to sustainÂ peace,” he pleaded.