Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, has directed the immediate closure of all schools in Ibadan beginning from Wednesday, 21 October, 2020, in view of the prolonged #EndSARS protests rocking the state capital.
The governor, in a state broadcast aired on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), stated that the closure of the schools will be reviewed on Friday, October 23, 2020.
The governor equally announced the deployment of operatives of the ‘Operation Burst,’ a state-backed security outfit comprising soldiers, men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigeria Police, to all flash points of violence in Ibadan, the state capital, to restore normalcy and maintain peace.
He further explained that the decision to close schools and deploy men of the ‘Operation Burst’ was a result of the new dimension the ongoing #EndSARS protest was taking, adding that hoodlums have started taking advantage of the protests to harass citizens, perpetrate uncivil acts and disturb residents from carrying out their legitimate businesses.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Governor Makinde further noted that operatives of the ‘Operation Burst’ would continue to be on ground to protect legitimate and peaceful protesters, warning, however, that the state would not allow unscrupulous elements to hijack the protests and terrorise residents of the state.
He maintained that as part of the state government’s determination to protect peaceful protesters, it had earlier deployed operatives of the ‘Operation Burst’ to certain parts of the state to protect protesters, saying that the development enabled the protesters to express their legitimate grievances unhindered.
Governor Makinde had, in the wake of the protests a little over a week ago, deployed operatives of ‘Operation Burst’ to Ogbomoso town to maintain peace following an outbreak of violence.
“We remain committed to the process of meeting the demands of these protests. Already, as promised, the Director of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice, Oyo State, has withdrawn cases against EndSARS protesters, and those in custody have been released, Makinde said.