The crisis rocking the Ondo state house of assembly took a new dimension on Thursday as some protesters attacked the convoy of Olusegun Mimiko, outgoing governor, in Akure, the state capital.
Suspected hoodlums smashed the side screens of two vehicles in the governor’s convoy.
It took the timely intervention of the men of the state police command to disperse the protesters, some of whom were also injured in the pandemonium.
The protest, which started on Wednesday, was against the governor’s move to present the 2017 budget to the assembly.
Following the protest, Mimiko reportedly shifted the budget presentation to another day.
The protesters alleged that the governor wanted to sponsor 38 bills and ensure that the bills were passed into law before his tenure expired on February 23.
They vowed to prevent the governor from presenting the appropriation bill to the assembly.
A witness said as soon as the protesters sighted the governor’s convoy on the road leading to the house of assembly, some of them started throwing stones at the convoy.
Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, their leader, condemned the action of the police, saying the protest was not a violent one.
“We don’t know why there is this issue of sporadic shooting by the police in a peaceful protest,” he said.
“It is uncalled for, and we are calling on the inspector-general of police, well-meaning Nigerians and citizens of Ondo state to look into the matter.
“What we are protesting for is to tell our people that the governor is bringing a bill that will bring untold hardship to the people of the state. We are not violent with it.”
Femi Joseph, police public relations officer in the state, confirmed the attack on the governor’s convoy, explaining that the police had to disperse the protesters when they appeared to be going violent.
He said the commissioner of police in the state was not biased, but interested in ensuring that there was no breakdown of law and order in the state.
“Some of them attacked the convoy of the governor; about two vehicles in the convoy were damaged by the protesters,” he said.
“We initially allowed them to protest peacefully, we also appealed to them to be peaceful but when they started barricading the road throwing stones at the governor’s convoy, we had to disperse them.”