Protesters rename Ilorin Post Office Junction after slain youth

2012-01-12
THE PUNCH Newspaper- Success Nwogu

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, civil society organisations, National Association of Nigerian Students, National Congress of Nigerian Students and some informal workers on Wednesday renamed the popular Post Office Junction after Muyideen Mustapha, the man who was killed in Ilorin, Kwara State, during a protest on Tuesday last week.

The junction, according to them, is now Muyideen Mustapha Freedom Square.

Although some people had alleged that a stray bullet fired by a policeman killed Mustapha, the police said he was stabbed with sharp objects by some unidentified protesters.

The Ilorin branch Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Rafiu Balogun, leader, UNILORIN 49, Dr. Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju, state Chairman, Joint Campus Committee of NANS, Akorede Shakir, state Chairman, NLC, Mr. Faruk Akanbi, and some other speakers urged President Goodluck Jonathan to revert to N65 per litre of fuel .

They warned that they would sustain the protests until Jonathan yielded to wishes of Nigerians.

Akanbi said they decided to name the junction after Mustapha to immortalise him.

Akanbi said, “The coalition of labour, civil society organisations, Nigerian students and the masses decided to name this junction after Mustapha as he happened to be the martyr of this struggle. He happened to be an unfortunate Nigerian who had just completed his education at the Command Secondary School. He came to this town for computer studies and after three months of successful completion of the programme, he was killed few days after.

“You could imagine what the loss means to the parents, and Nigeria and what he would have become in future. We have decided to come together to name this place late Muyideen Mustapha Freedom Square.

Balogun said members of the NBA were prepared to defend any protester who was molested. He, however, urged the protesters to remain law abiding and peaceful.

“We will continue to say no to them and we are going to continue to protest until they yield to public opinion. Be calm in all your actions. Do not allow them to harass you. NBA is saying no to subsidy removal. It is not yet time for subsidy to be removed. Refineries must be working and corruption in the oil sector must be tackled. Investigate, and prosecute those cabal and let the guilty ones go to jail,” he said.

Oloruntoba-Oju, who is also the former chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Ilorin chapter, urged Jonathan to yield to the yearnings of the majority.

He said, “The message is that President Jonathan is working against democratic tenets. The entire nation, the people that voted him, the National Assembly members who are the representatives of the people, all opinion leaders, labour and civil society groups, have been saying no to the so-called removal of subsidy.

“He must comply, otherwise, he would have committed what could be seen as impeachable offence. The National Assembly should commence impeachment proceedings against him if he does not listen and revert to N65 per litre.”

Meanwhile, the protest, which lasted from about 9am till 1pm on Wednesday, later witnessed some pockets of violence as some youths started burning tyres around 3pm. But the situation was brought under control.

The Commissioner of Police, Kwara State Command, Mr. Peter Gana, confirmed the incident, but said normalcy had been restored.

 

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