Gov Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has directed that public and private schools in Ibadan should be shut.
Makinde gave the directive on Tuesday evening, in his statewide broadcast aired on the state-owned radio and television stations, over the ongoing EndSARS protests in the state.
“I have directed that all schools in Ibadan should be closed from tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 21, for the rest of this week.
“The situation will be reviewed on Friday, Oct. 23, and then further directives will be given,” he said.
According to him, the past two days have seen a new dimension to the ongoing protests.
He said that thugs and hoodlums had taken advantage of the situation to perpetrate uncivil acts and harass citizens who were going about their day-to-day activities.
“Some thugs are going as far as forcing people who have businesses open to close shop and join in the protests.
“We know these are criminal elements, and so, as a state, we must act to protect the citizenry.
“Therefore, we are deploying members of Operation Burst to various hotspots in Ibadan to arrest the situation and restore normalcy.
“The members of the team will continue to protect genuine protesters and their right to protest. But we can not allow persons with ulterior motives to hijack the protests.
“We remain committed to the process of meeting the demands of these protests,” he said.
Makinde said that the Director of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice, Oyo State, had withdrawn cases against End SARS protesters, and those in custody had been released.
He said that his government had set up platforms for reporting past and present incidents of police brutality and injustice.
These, he said, would naturally pave the way for the next steps in his administration’s quest to get justice for the victims.
He urged the people of the state to trust the process that his administration had set up.
Makinde told them to rest assured that every case would be pursued to a logical conclusion.
He implored the general public to call 615, should anyone attempt to disrupt their legitimate business activities.
The governor said his government would continue to seek ways to engage with peaceful protesters.
“Our plan is that in the shortest possible time, we can finally say the days of large-scale and wanton police brutality and injustice are a thing of the past.
“Let me also use this opportunity to call on members of the Nigeria Police to remain professional in the discharge of their duties, as they will be held responsible for their actions,” he said.