*One person confirmed dead; several injured.
*State governor, Godwin Obaseki reacts, vows to fish out perpetrators.
Reports has it that two persons have died and scores sustain injuries as hoodlums fired gun shots at #EndSARS protesters in Benin, capital of Edo state.
One of the dead protesters was identified simply as Ikpomwosa.
It was gathered that the peaceful protest by hundreds of youths which began at the city centre, later turned bloody, as the hoodlums clashed with the protesting youths.
According to reports, trouble started when some youths, called Ogbe Boys who collect revenue for Oredo local government council, accused the protesters of preventing them from collecting money from vehicles using the car park.
The hoodlums were said to have suddenly appeared with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons to attack the protesters.
While some of the protesting youths took to their heels, others stayed back to persuade the hoodlums that the peaceful protest was for all of the youths and that they were not out to fight anybody.
It was further learnt that the hoodlums who were clad in red T-shirt, were saying “why are they disturbing our work,” and in the process brought guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons to attack the protesting youths.
Some of those who received gunshot injuries in the ensuing violence were later rushed to the nearby Central Hospital.
The body of Ikpomwosa was conveyed in an ambulance through the Reservation Road to the Government House.
Speaking to newsmen, one of the protesters, Efosa Igbinoba, said they were at the Ring Road to protest police brutality and good governance in Nigeria, only to be attacked by hoodlums.
“We started the protest from Sapele Road, but on getting to the Ring Road, hoodlums just appeared from nowhere with cutlasses and guns to attack us and disrupt the protest.
“Our demands are, don’t end SARS and come with SWAT. Police should be reformed as well as reduction of salary of the members of the House of Representative and the Senate,” he said.
Another protesters, Victoria Nkechi, (60), told PMNewsNigeria that she is on the street to support the youths in their protest for good governance.
“Years ago, I called for protest due to bad governance, but no body listened to me. Today, I am glad that they are protesting for good governance today,” she said.
Governor Obaseki Reacts.
Reacting to the clash, the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki sent a condolence message to the victim’s loved ones and also vowed to fish out those involved in the attack against peaceful protesters.
Speaking in a statement shared on his official twitter handle, the governor said he has directed the Edo State Commissioner of Police to step out and provide security for the peaceful protesters.
He said; “I have just learnt that hoodlums are attacking #EndSARS protesters, who have conducted themselves peacefully in Benin City. I extend condolences to the victims of the attack, including those who lost their lives and others who were injured by the thugs.
“It is disheartening that anyone would attack a peaceful assembly of young people, who are expressing genuine concerns to #EndSARS, police brutality and intimidation in their own country.
“I hereby call on the Police Command in the state to get out on the streets and provide adequate security for the #EndSARS protesters and ensure that no one is harassed in the course of exercising their rights in Edo State.”
“Thorough investigation would be conducted immediately to fish out the culprits of the attack on peaceful #EndSARS protesters in Benin City, and we would do all possible within the law to ensure those culpable are brought to justice”, the governor concluded.
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