By Jethro Ibileke
Edo State government on Friday granted request for a state burial for the victim of #EndSARS protest who was allegedly shot dead by hoodlums who hijacked the protest in Benin.
The state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu granted the request when hundreds of the protesters matched to the Government House with the corpse of the victim.
Spokesman for the protesters, David Osayande, had requested that a state burial should be given to the victim who was earlier identified simply as Ikpomwosa.
“One of us has been killed during this struggle. Sir, we want state burial for that man, we want an end to police brutality, we want the police to stop arresting us without any offense,” Osayande said.
Responding, the deputy governor disclosed that the state government has given security agencies a 24-hour ultimatum to fish out killers of the victim.
Shaibu who walked with the protesters from the Government House to the city centre, said the state government supports the protest and does not want either SARS or SWAT in the state.
According to him, “The police, Department of State Security and others are to bring to book those guys that shot at you, stoned you and the guys that killed that young man to book.
“Some of you sustained injuries, I can see them from here, they have 24 hours to bring them to book.
“I have ordered that the victim should be taken to the morgue. We are going to give him a state burial, like the young guy said, because the martyrs of this struggle must be remembered.
“He will be remembered for being part of this struggle, he is a martyr and by the grace of God he will never be forgotten.
“When all this reform has taken place, it will be on record that he joined the struggle for emacipation. I want to assure that Edo state government believes in your peaceful protest.
“No properties was distroyed, nobody was injured, that is what is called peaceful protest and you have been doing that.
“Those miscreants that want to create problem, I can assure you that we will not fold out hands as a state, to watch them brutalize anyone, that I want to assure you, so, please maintain your peaceful protest.
“We are with you in this struggle. President Muhammadu Buhari has also said that there is going to be a reform. But we as a state, we are going to ensure that we have a reform that is people-friendly.
“The police is meant to protect lives and properties, not to destroy them. So I want to assure you that we are with you in this,” he said.