The Ogun State Police Command has threatened to deal decisively with any student involved in the planned protest by the South-West zone of the National Association of Nigerian Students over the recent hike in fuel prices and electricity tariffs.
The students had given the Federal Government a five-day ultimatum, which expires on Sunday (today), to reverse the hike in the prices of fuel and electricity tariffs, while threatening to protest in some parts of the South-West states, including Ogun State.
But the police in Ogun said they had received intelligence that some disgruntled elements were bent on disturbing the public peace in some parts of the state, starting next week Monday.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement on Saturday, warned the protesters against the planned action.
Oyeyemi said, “A group of individuals, who claim to be NANS executives, South-West Zone D, led by one Kappo Samuel Olawale, in a letter addressed to the command, has given the Federal Government a five- day ultimatum to reverse the recent hike in fuel prices and electricity tariffs.
“It threatens to unleash mayhem in Ogun state after the expiration of the ultimatum on Sunday, September 13, 2020.
“The students plan to block all major highways, including the Lagos-Ibadan and Lagos-Benin Expressways, recruit miscreants, street urchins, hoodlums, expelled, suspended and perpetual students overrunning their courses at tertiary institutions in Ogun State and other states from the South-West.”
According to him, the protesters intend to “swell their ranks” and ensure their desired objective of “spreading violence in the state, beginning from Monday, September 14, is achieved.”
The PPRO added, “The decision by any group of students to embark on a protest over the recent increase in fuel prices and electricity tariffs is unwarranted and therefore unacceptable to the Ogun State Police Command, as it was only on September 8, that is, less than a week ago, that NANS executives carried out a protest in Abeokuta over the same issues.
“Consequently, the deliberate and selfishly designed violence-oriented protest planned for Monday, September 14, 2020, is not approved by the Ogun State Police Command and will be resisted vehemently.
“No group will be allowed to perpetually hold the entire good people of Ogun State in perpetual fear of violence and harm to their persons and property. Olawale and his group are hereby advised, in their own interest, to drop their plan to block any highway in the state, and thereby cause confusion, disturbances and public apprehension. The law is not on their side on this.”
Oyeyemi stated that to ensure the protest did not take place, officers and men of the command had consequently been put on “red alert,” in view of the alleged threat.
The police spokesman also advised members of the public to go about their lawful business without fear or molestation by any person.
He underscored the right of motorists and all road users to freedom of movement and self-defence against molestation and violence by any person, including miscreants and hoodlums, acting under any guise.
The PPRO said, “The police, in conjunction with other security agencies, are resolute and have the capacity to deal with such elements in the most decisive manner.”
He urged parents and guardians to call their children and wards to order, saying “a word is enough for the wise.”