A peaceful demonstration turned bloody in Oyo Town, Oyo State, on Tuesday with several people sustaining injuries.
The protesters had gathered and marched through the ancient town to oppose an alleged move by some residents to replace Kamil Akinlabi, a member of the House of Representatives, with Akeem Adeyemi, a son of the Alaafin of Oyo, in 2015.
A group of people were at the palace of the Oyo monarch to lodge a formal complaint about the lawmaker, whom, they accused of not providing the dividend of democracy like his counterparts in the state. They implored the monarch to prevail on his son, Akeem, who is currently the interim Chairman of Atiba Local Government Area, to take over the seat in the coming elections.
The federal constituency comprises Oyo- East, Oyo-West, Afijio, and Atiba.
But some aggrieved residents, who were opposed to the seeming domination of Alaafin’s relatives in political appointments ceded to the constituency, took to the street to counter the call.
Armed with placards with various inscriptions, they accused the Oyo monarch of keeping important political appointments meant for the entire town to his family members.
According to Waheed Ajagbe, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, the demonstration was in appreciation of positive impact Mr. Akinlabi has made in their lives since he was elected in 2011.
“About 175 boreholes have been provided across his constituency. He has distributed 16 vehicles to party leaders and Oyo messi. Akinlabi has also facilitated the construction of Erelu water project.
“In the area of education, he has facilitated the rehabilitation of Olivet Baptist High School, Isale-Oyo Community Grammar School and other schools. He has also distributed textbooks and notebooks for pupils at Primary School level,” he said.
Mr. Ajagbe claimed the Alaafin’s son, Mr. Adeyemi, has performed poorly as council chairman and should not be considered for the legislative position.
“Out of the 10 political appointment given to Oyo, six are occupied by Oba Adeyemi’s sons and wives. Are we going to fold our arms and watch when people who want to help us are being frustrated for selfish reason,” he said.
The protest later turned bloody when some hoodlums believed to be sponsored by the council chairman stormed the venue to forcefully chase the participants away.
Normalcy was later restored when a detachment of anti-riot police officers with Armoured Personnel Carriers arrived the scene. But, that was after the armed hoodlums had succeeded in inflicting injuries on some protesters.
When contacted on the cause of the violence, the Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo, Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor, said she had just been informed about the crisis and was yet to get the details.