On Friday night, the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, ordered the deployment of free ‘Omituntun’ buses to mitigate the effects of the fuel shortage and currency crisis on state citizens.
This was announced by Makinde in a statewide broadcast on the state-owned radio station, Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State.
The governor, who disapproved of the violent demonstrations that erupted in the state on Friday morning, stated that his administration was prepared to do everything was necessary to alleviate the suffering of the people.
However, he urged state citizens to vent their complaints in a peaceful manner, saying that his administration will not tolerate lawlessness.
Taiwo Adisa, the governor’s chief press secretary, said in a statement that Makinde placed the state’s security services on high alert to prevent any breakdown of law and order, according to a report by The Eagle Online.
According to the governor, the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses would be deployed on more routes inside the state to transport residents for free in an effort to alleviate the plight of the people.
In addition, the governor stated that he was working with the chairmen of local governments in the state to offer urgent palliatives for the vulnerable people in order to ease the sufferings brought on by the crises.
In the broadcast, Makinde said, “My Dear Good People of Oyo State.
“I am addressing you today because of the prevailing conditions in our state and country that have led to protests and riots, especially in Ibadan.
“First, let me say that I understand the need for these protests. When citizens get pushed to the wall, there is only so much that they can take.
“The continuous fuel scarcity and the scarcity of the naira have led to slow economic activities. I must repeat, I understand, and I feel your pain.
“I have always maintained that peaceful protests are fine. When things are not going how we want them to go, we have a right and even a responsibility to protest.
“Let me also state that while we are protesting, we must remember how easily a peaceful protest can turn violent and lead to the loss of lives and property. The violence that erupted in parts of Ibadan today (Friday) is condemnable and will not be tolerated.
“In response to this, I have suspended all campaign activities forthwith. I have also met with the heads of security agencies in Oyo State to restore calm and maintain peace in our dear state.
“Violence cannot and will not solve our problems, it only creates new ones. We have another opportunity in a few weeks to move this country in a new direction. Use your PVC, not violence.
“We must not allow elements within us who have other motives to take advantage of peaceful protests to perpetrate evil or push their agendas.
“I urge all law-abiding citizens and residents of the state to go about their lawful activities. All our security agencies are on high alert and so, peaceful residents of the state have no cause to fear.
“As a palliative measure, I have directed that the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses should be deployed to more routes within the state for free.
“We are also working with Local Government Chairmen to see what immediate palliatives we can make available to the most vulnerable amongst us to alleviate the hardships that the twin scarcity of fuel and the naira have brought upon our people.
“Once again, we have another opportunity to put an end to oppressive systems and that is through the ballot. For now, I urge everyone to remain calm as we are doing our best to mitigate the hardships.”
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