The Osun State chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has demanded for the immediate redeployment of the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olawale Olokode, over the shooting of its member and two other persons.
A statement by its chairman and secretary, Comrade Wasiu Ajadosu and Comrade Bukola Elufadejin, respectively, gave the police authorities seven days to redeploy Olokode on the grounds of gross indiscipline and unprofessional conduct of the men and officers under his supervision.
The union appealed to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, to act fast in order to save the state from incessant unrest and crisis due to lackadaisical approach to sensitive issues of security by the leadership of the command.
It would be recalled that The Nation correspondent in Osun, Toba Adedeji, was shot by the police on Tuesday.
Adedeji was shot alongside two other persons at Olaiya, Osogbo, by overzealous policemen who wanted to disperse a crowd of demonstrators, protesting the killing of Abiola Afolabi, who was killed by police on April 4, 2022.
The crowd had converged on Olaiya junction to mourn the passage of Afolabi when police opened fire at the crowd to disperse them.
In the process, Adedeji and others were shot.
However, Daily Independent gathered that Adedeji had been rushed to the Osun State University Teaching Hospital for treatment.
Afolabi was buried on Tuesday and his friends held a rally to mourn him.
Aside, two journalists were also arrested by the policemen until their release was secured alongside the relations and friends of the deceased mourning the death of Afolabi.
The union described the action of the police in the state as unfortunate, barbaric, uncivilized and demeaning, especially in a democratic environment where citizens possess the right to ventilate their grievances through protest.
The union noted that it would no longer condone harassment, intimidation of its members, saying over five members of the union had been attacked by the police in the last three months.
Meanwhile, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has condemned in strongest terms, the shooting of The Nation’s correspondent, Toba Adedeji, and others by the police.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, Governor Oyetola who is currently in Abuja for some pressing state and national matters, said shooting unarmed citizens was completely unacceptable, irresponsible and condemnable, adding that the sad incident could have been avoided.
He noted that it was unfortunate that the sad incident occurred while the citizens were mourning the death of a loved one.
According to Governor Oyetola, such unlawful act by the police could aggravate an already-tensed situation that could lead to breakdown of law and order in the State.
He, therefore, called for thorough investigation of the incident, with a view to ensuring that the culprits are decisively dealt with in accordance with the law of the land.
“Shooting at journalists and unarmed citizens is completely unacceptable, irresponsible and condemnable. The police officers have no justification for this unfortunate and unlawful act. They could have employed other means rather than resorting to deadly force to disperse the group.
“The frequency of these unfortunate and avoidable provocative incidents is a source of concern to us, as a government. I have, therefore, directed the state Commissioner of Police to investigate the Tuesday shooting incident and ensure that his officers who are involved in it are identified and punished in accordance with extant regulations and law.
“We must ensure that this kind of sad and barbaric incident does not occur again in our state.
“I wish The Nation Newspaper correspondent, Adedeji, and the other citizens whom I learnt are presently receiving treatment at the hospital, speedy recovery. I am also calling on residents of Osun to remain calm and not take the law into their own hands. I assure that this matter will be pursued to a logical conclusion and the erring officers dealt with accordingly,” Oyetola said.