By Dayo Johnson Akure
Police in Ondo state has on Monday aborted the RevolutionNow protest which took place in Ore city,Odigbo council area of the state.
A Journalist with Sahara Reporters Tosin Ajuwon was assaulted and arrested by police detectives.
Armed security chased away the protesters who had gathered on the road away.
One of the coordinators of Coalition for Revolution (Core) in the state Abiodun Oyekan described the action of the policemen as barbaric.
Oyekan told newsmen that “We condemned the action of the police to disperse law abiding citizens who are agitating for an egalitarian society in Ore today.
“They have shown force against us but nothing shall discourage us in agitating for freedom and we use this medium to also call for release of the journalist who was arrested by the police in Ore.
“We have all gathered to raise out our voice for a free, quality and compulsory education at all levels. We also want a democratic end to the issues of insecurity in the country and asked the government to pay the minimum wage while also placing all politicians on minimum wage”.
Meanwhile, speaking after his release, Ajuwon explained that all effort to explain his identify fell on the deaf ears of the armed policemen.
Ajuwon said he was treated like a criminal as the fierce looking policemen seized his recording gadget and bundled him into a waiting van.
“I was covering some group of protesters of the #RevolutionNow who were making attempt to block the Benin-Ore expressway when the policemen stormed the road and chased them away.
“While all the chase was going on, one of the officers who was heavily armed came to ask why I was filming and i easily identity myself as a journalist covering the protest.
“He immediately asked who gave me the authority to start covering protest in Ore, I told him I have the constitutional right as a journalist to do so, moreso that it is in a public place.
“In fact, I have to tell him that the demonstrators also have the lawful right to assembly as granted under section 40 of the constitution and demonstrate so far their actions are peaceful.
“I feel they (policemen) were angered by these statements and they immediately arrested me.
“They collected my phone and bundled me into the Police waiting van for trying to perform my duty as a journalist
According to him “I was manhandled and handcuffed while they dragged me like a criminal. One of them even slapped me repeatedly.
“They drove me to the Ore Area Command with one other guy that was arrested among the demonstrators. h
“The policemen made us to write a statement and kept me in custody for several hours interrogating me.
He said that ” lt was the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of the Ore command that came to intervene and having found out that I am a journalist ordered his men to release me at about 4 pm”
The state police image maker Femi Joseph could not be reached for comment on the incident.