The Oyo State Police Command has denied that its men killed three protesters during the early morning fire that razed the ancient Akesan market in Oyo town in the early hours of Sunday morning.
In a statement signed by the command’s Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), SP. Fadeyi Olugbenga, the police said contrary to the widely spread rumour of police killings, there was no single shot fired by the police personnel deployed proactively and professionally to provide security at the scene of the fire incident.
He said the police personnel under the supervision of Divisional Police Officer(DPO) Durbar and Area Commander, Oyo Area Command prevented hoodlums and mob from attacking the Oyo State government fire station in the town as well as the Durbar Police Station from being set ablaze.
The statement reads: The attention of the Commissioner of Police Oyo State Police Command, CP. Shina T. Olukolu psc(+) have been drawn to the purported live story widely being reported by some media houses and online publications that Police personnel in Oyo town consequent upon the violent reactions by the citizens upon the inability of the fire service to deal with the fire incident that occurred at Akesan market in Oyo town have allegedly shot dead three persons.
The fire incident was allegedly allowed to fester unattended which led to a substantial part of the market being burnt.
“The Commissioner of Police wishes to state categorically that contrary to the widely spread rumour of Police killings that, there was no single shot fired by the Police personnel deployed proactively and professionally to provide security at the scene of the fire incident at Akesan market in Oyo town. Instead, the Police personnel under the able supervision of DPO Durbar and Area Commander, Oyo Area Command prevented hoodlums and mob from attacking the Oyo State Government Fire Station in the town as well as the Durbar Police Station, Oyo from being set ablaze.
“More importantly, adequate security measures was provided at the market to deter hoodlums massed at the scene of the fire incident in the early hours of the day (at about 2:30 AM) from capitalising on the situation to loot shops and properties at the scene. But, at about 0700 hrs, a report was received at the Durbar Police Station by the DPO that a sister security agency have arrived at the scene of the incident to assist in the provision of security. Unfortunately, gunshots rang out from their direction skywards. But, unfortunately, one Warred Aderoju Akano ‘M’ aged 14 yrs was allegedly hit and died while three others namely, (i) Jimoh Idris ‘M’ age 14 yrs, (ii) Sulu Qudinai ‘M’ 20 yrs, and Wasiu Taiwo ‘M’ age 21 yrs also sustained gunshot injuries and are currently recuperating in an hospital in Oyo town. The CP therefore commiserated with the families of the deceased and injured as well as sympathises with all those that their shops were raced down by the inferno at Akesan market in Oyo town. He urge them to be calm and not to take laws into their hands while the Police, State CID will investigate and get to the root of the unfortunate incident.
“He, therefore, wishes to once again remind all the good people of Oyo State to endeavour to switch off all electrical appliances when not in use or when they are out of their various dwelling houses, to prevent electrical upsurge and sparks that may eventually lead to fire outbreak and destruction of lives and property and even loss of lives like in the case at Akesan market and the furniture factory at Iyaganku, Ibadan.
“The CP seizes the opportunity further assure all and sundry in Oyo State that adequate security measures have been emplaced to professionally prevent any breakdown of law and order in the State. The good people of Oyo State are enjoined to go about their lawful businesses without any fear of molestation from any individuals, persons, or groups while decrying the sudden increase in fire incidents in the State and the need to be more careful in their daily activities to stem the tide.”