#EndSARS: Edo govt asks security operatives to enforce curfew as protests continue

#EndSARS: Edo govt asks security operatives to enforce curfew as protests continue

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 5:17 pm

Hoodlums defying the curfew in Benin on Tuesday morning

By Jethro Ibileke
The Edo state government has insisted that the 24-hour curfew imposed in the state on October 19, 2020, over the violence nature of the #EndSARS protest subsists and is active till further notice.
The Government gave the order as hundreds of #EndSARS protesters in Edo state on Tuesday defied the 24-hour curfew imposed by the state government, as they took to major roads and streets of Benin city.
The protesters mounted roadblocks and made bonfires at about 30 meters intervals, messing up the entire stretch of the roads.
Hundreds of residents who also ignored the curfew were seen heading to various directions.
Recalcitrant motorists were made to pay for their passage at every roadblock by stern-looking youths who wield iron rods, wooden clubs and other dangerous weapons.
A motorist who volunteered comment on condition of anonymity, said he paid N200 at every point.
“I’m trying to find my way to Agbor. I’ve been paying N200 at every roadblock mounted by the boys. And as you can see, there are still many more before the by-pass,” he said.
Some youths were seen at NNPC Depot Junction, Benin/Agbor road, with a coffin, saying that they were “burying the present federal government with its bad policies.”
Commercial motorcyclists who risk transporting passengers, charge N2,500 for a ride from Jehovah Junction to Ramat Park, a journey that cost N80 on a normal day.
The story was not different in other parts of the Benin metropolis.
The state government could not be reached to get clarification on why implementation of the curfew order failed.
Meanwhile, there was uneasy calm pervaded the  Okhoro road and Medical Store road axis of Benin metropolis.
Recall that two persons suspected to be cult members were killed on Monday by rival cult groups who took advantage of the #EndSARS protest to unleash mayhem on the areas.
One of the victims was killed at Eweka road, by Anthony Iyamu Junction, while the other was killed at Medical Store road.
A source who spoke to our correspondent on phone, said residents of the areas are mostly indoors, perhaps avoiding being caught in the cross fire of the rival cult groups.
But the government in a statement by the Special Adviser, Media & Communication Strategy to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Crusoe Osagie, affirmed that everyone is expected to remain indoors.
Osagie disclosed that “security agencies have been deployed to the streets to ensure full compliance and anyone found contravening the directive will be dealt with according to the law.”
He added: “Parents and guardians are urged to restrain their children, youths and wards from flouting the order, as security agencies will not spare any errant individual.
“The curfew was imposed yesterday when the #ENDSARS protests turned violent, leading to two jailbreaks and the burning of at least five police stations within the Benin metropolis as well as various degrees of public disturbances in other major cities across the state.
“The authorities are yet to confirm the total number of inmates released to the streets, as investigations are still ongoing, which necessitate the shutdown in the state.
“The government is committed to maintaining law and order and protecting lives and property in the state, and urges Edo citizens and residents to obey the directives for the collective good of all.”

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