By Adeola Badru
Youths in Ibadan under the aegis of Oyo State Leading Patriots, yesterday, said it has begun a house-to-house appeal to #ENDSARS protesters and other people who have hijacked the protests in the state.
The group said its members were worried over the recent development which led to burning of about five police stations in the state.
Founder of the group, Asiwaju Nurudeen Akinade, who led youths from higher institutions in the state to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Nwachuku Enwonwu, said the state was peaceful before the protests started.
He commiserated with the police boss over the loss of his men who were brutally murdered by some hoodlums who infiltrated the peaceful protests.
The leader of the group said: “Having watched with horror in the past days, the manner in which some unscrupulous youths have murdered some of your men, we, Oyo State Leading Patriots, have come out to speak against the social disorder and killings of policemen.”
“We are worried that our state which is known for its peaceful coexistence of all and sundry might be turned into a war zone if we did not speak out on time.”
“We came here to commiserate with you over the loss of your men and to assure you that the youths of this state are solidly behind you and would do everything legal to ensure that normalcy is restored to our dear state,” he said.
He appealed to the police boss to return his men to the stations and streets in the city, saying: “Many Commissioners of Police in the past usually like to settle in the state even after they have been transferred.”
Akinade noted that Nigerians, especially the Oyo State people who are law abiding citizens cannot reject the support of the Nigerian police force, urging police to ensure the state is well policed.
He further said the group kicked-off the campaign from the police boss to assure him of total supports of the youths, adding that, they are visiting all the traditional rulers in the state before going to the field.
Reacting to their courtesy visit, CP Enwonwu, commended the youths for their patriotism and commitment to the development of the state.
He said himself and the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Leye Oyebade had met with the governor of the state and traditional rulers in the state to find a lasting solution the crisis in the state.
He urged the youth to supply information to the police in exposing criminals in their community, saying: “We deliberately asked police to return to their barracks to avoid casualties. But, the hoodlums still killed our people, maimed them.”
Other people visited include the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji and Eze Ndigbo of Ibadanland, Dr. Alex Anozie in their palaces, while they moved to visit other traditional rulers in the state.
In his reaction, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adeunji lauded the group over their peaceful approach and urged them to continue to be law abiding in their quest to restore normalcy in the city.
The monarch, thereafter, prayed for them, adding that their conducts have shown that they have the genuine love of the state at heart.
Also reacting to their visit, Eze Ndigbo of Ibadanland, Dr Anozie condemned the rumours going round that the Igbos are planning to join forces with the hoodlums who hide under the covers of the demonstration against police brutality on civilians, adding that the Igbos in Yorubaland have lived peacefully for centuries, hence they will never join any forces or group that is poised to destroy Yorubaland.