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Two die, dozens injure during police, youths clashes in Ogun

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Pandemonium broke out in Ogun State on Wednesday when personnel of Nigerian Police and youths clashed in Atan-Ota community, leaving no fewer than two persons dead and several others injured.

Among the two casualties recorded during the face-off was a police officer, identified as Augustine Ogbeche, and an unidentified youth whose death was said to have triggered the clash that resulted in setting the divisional police station ablaze.

Also during the clash that lasted for several minutes, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for Atan-Ota, Sikiru Olugbenga, who had been declared missing, was said to have sustained severe injuries and several others during the clash.

As gathered, the face-off started after the youths stormed the station to express their opinion on the need for police reform and suddenly a gunshot was said to have been released and hit the deceased youth on the head and was confirmed dead minutes after by medical officials.

It was learnt that after the news of the deceased filtered in, the youths vented their anger on the law enforcement officers and attacked the late Ogbeche and killed him, attacked officers who later ran for cover and set the police station ablaze.

Also, hoodlums in Obada-Oko axis of the state attacked the divisional police in the community, set it on fire and looted valuables after the arson.

Confirming the tragedy, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ogun command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said that the state commissioner of police had been appealing to the youths to eschew violence and embrace peace in the state.

Oyeyemi, in a statement made available to newsmen, stated that the state commissioner of police was already appealing to traditional rulers, monarchs, and other critical stakeholders to prevail on the youths to stop the ongoing carnage

“The youths are reminded that since the commencement of the protests the police have been nice and civil to them even when some of our men were injured and our stations damaged.

“We even went ahead and released all the 36 suspects we arrested. However if in the course of handling the protests anybody feels offended we plead for their understanding and not retaliatory measures including killing and maiming policemen and burning and damaging police stations.

“We will ensure that justice is served to any aggrieved person. Please and please let us continue to embrace peace rather than violence. The Command sincerely appeal to the youths. Parents and guardians are also enjoined to help rein in their children and wards”.

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