Group Dissociates Self From Arson, Destruction in Iseyin
….. Fingers Self-Acclaimed Youth Leader As Mastermind
A youth movement in Iseyin, Iseyin Youths Development Group (IYDG) has dissociated itself from the Thursday’s violent protest that led to the vandalization of many public and private properties in the town.
The mob action led to the burning of the township police station and destruction of the Nigerian Customs formations and that of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and that of the newly-created AGRO RANGERS, where private items were stolen and operational vehicles and motorcycles were torched or taken away.
Babajide Oniyo, the Coordinator of IYDG said in a statement made available to The Chronicler Newspaper on Sunday that about a week earlier, he was contacted alongside some other youths of Iseyin to join in a planned peaceful protest in the town to advocate for good governance, renewed call for establishment of an higher institution of learning in Iseyin , call for the federal government’s attention towards the abandoned Ikere Gorge Dam as well as a need for repositioning the police.
He hinted that preparations were geared towards the Thursday date but on Wednesday, a meeting was called at the behest of the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdganiy Adekunle Salaudeen Oloogunebi Ajinese 1 and other community leaders where it was impressed upon the group and other stakeholders that the protest might be hijacked by hoodlums and should not be held.
Oniyo said “I was not at the meeting because I am not based in Iseyin, I only planned to join my group on Wednesday evening for proper planning towards Thursday, then I heard that the peaceful protest has been called off and I was happy that I was yet to leave my base.
“Judging from the superior reasons that called for the cancellation of the protest, I called on my colleagues to abide by the words of the King and stay away from any gathering on Thursday, because we heard that one self-acclaimed Olori-odo has been going round the town, claiming that his group would go ahead and protest.
“Surprisingly, it was gathered that the man, Olori-odo went ahead to act contrary to our agreements with the authorities, he was reported to have tod the Kabiyesi after his address that he should allow them go ahead with the protest, promising it would be peaceful, we even heard that he followed the mob to the police station before the ever boomeranged, I presumed he wanted to assert a superiority complex but got his hands burnt.
“We call on the authorities to investigate and bring to book, the self-acclaimed youth leader and his cronies and make them point out the leaders of the mob that visited havoc on our dear town.”
The IYDG Coordinator asserted that his group was known in and outside the town for progressive and developmental strides as they have organized various programs in the areas of sensitization in leadership, sports, tourism, education and other areas of note.
The Quantity Surveyor called on government at all levels to come up with programs that will benefit the mass of youths that remained unemployed and might be willing hands for recruitment for destruction of public facilities.