10th January, 2012
The nationwide protest against the Federal Government’s removal of oil subsidy which was peaceful in most parts of the country yesterday turned violent in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State as hoodlums destroyed property and harassed residents of the area.
P.M.NEWS gathered that the hoodlums alleged to be members of the National Union Road Transport Workers (NURTW) as early as 6a.m. were on the streets blocking traffic and burning tyres on the roads.
The situation escalated in some areas like Molete, Challenge, Felele and Ring Road as some thugs were seen destroying and looting property as well as harassing residents of the areas.
The hoodlums also restricted movement of journalists and others who were to monitor the protest from General Gas Area to Olorunda in Ibadan.
At Akobo, a vehicle was destroyed by thugs who attempted to hijack the protest, while it took the intervention of a joint patrol security operatives comprising policemen and soldiers to maintain peace at Ojurin-Akobo.
Addressing the hoodlums at Ojurin-Akobo, one of the security operatives said: “Please be peaceful. Don’t cause any problem. We are not saying that you should not protest but protest peacefully. Don’t make bonfires on the road. Don’t spoil our roads.”
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up at the state Governor’s Office and Government House at Agodi, Ibadan. Also, heavy armed security operatives were seen guarding federal and government installations.
However, organised labour has continued peaceful protest in other parts of the state. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Chairmen Of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Bashiru Olanrewaju and Comrade Bayo Ajayi, Oyo State chapter and Chairperson, Nigeria Medical Association, Professor Millicent Obajimi, were among the leaders of the protest.
Comrade Bashiru has condemned Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s silence on the protest against oil subsidy, saying that his conduct shows that he is not in support of the masses.
He said that while other governors from other states identified with the masses on agitation against the removal of oil subsidy, Governor Ajimobi remains in his house and pretends as if nothing is happening.
As at the time of filing this report, the protesters who took off from the NLC secretariat were at Mapo Area of the ancient city.
Those that did not participate in the protest stayed at home.
— Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan