Friday, December 2, 2022

Citing thugs violence, Obaseki bans #EndSARS rallies in Benin

The Edo governor seizes a jailbreak in the capital Monday morning to impose a state-wide curfew.

• October 19, 2020
Edo governor Godwin Obaseki
Edo governor Godwin Obaseki [Photo credit: Premium Times]

Governor Godwin Obaseki has imposed an absolute curfew against movements in Edo State, citing a violence that broke out in the capital Benin on Monday morning.

The governor’s action will effectively outlaw #EndSARS protests that have recently gained popularity in Benin and other parts of the state over the past week.

“Parents are advised to rein in their children, youths and wards, to forestall further breakdown of law and order,” Mr. Obaseki said in a statement Monday morning.

The 24-hour curfew will commence at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, and will run indefinitely, the governor said.

The statement came shortly after thugs deployed against #EndSARS protesters unleashed violence across Benin, setting a police station alight before taking over a correctional facility to free inmates.

The governor said the fracas has traumatised citizens and invoked his powers to declare a curfew.  “The responsibility of government is to protect lives and property and maintain law and order, therefore, anyone found outside in violation of the curfew would be dealt with according to the law,” Mr. Obaseki said.

Mr. Obaseki’s rapid declaration has elicited suspicion from #EndSARS campaigners, who accused the governor of sponsoring the thugs to lay a convenient ground a curfew. The governor denied the allegations.

President Muhammadu Buhari and other politicians across the country have been exploring multiple options to neutralise the protests against police brutality, which entered its third week today.

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