Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo state, has questioned the logic behind calling governors the Chief Security Officers of their states, when they do not possess the power to control the police.
According to the current national structure, officers of the Nigerian Police Force report to the inspector general of police, who in turn, reports to the president.
Makinde said this while ordering the investigation into the situation surrounding the killing of Jimoh Isiaka, an #EndSARS protester, in Ogbomosho.
In a Twitter thread on Saturday, the governor said Isiaka died at Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomosho, after he was shot during a protest.
“I have received with deep sadness the news of the passing of one of our children, Jimoh Isiaka, who was shot during the #EndSARS protest in Ogbomoso. He later died at Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, earlier today,” he wrote.
The governor, who described the incident as “highly regrettable”, said he has contacted Nwachukwu Enwonwu, the state commissioner of police, and other relevant agencies to probe the matter.
Makinde revealed that seven other protesters also sustained injuries of varying degrees and are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.
“This situation is highly regrettable. I have contacted the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State, Nwachukwu Enwonwu, and other relevant agencies, and investigations into what led to the unfortunate incident are still ongoing,” he wrote.
The governor said the protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are indicative of a systemic failure in the country.
“The #EndDSARS protests are a strong indicator of a systemic failure. It is a failure on the part of those who have been constitutionally empowered to protect the citizens,” he added.
“It again calls into question why State Governors are called Chief Security Officers of their state whereas, they do not have the necessary powers to control the police force.”
He promised to pay a personal visit to the family of the deceased while assuring the public that he would ensure the cause of Isiaka’s death is unraveled.
Makinde enjoined residents of the state to remain calm, while also urging the police to allow people “protest peacefully without fear of being assaulted.”
Isiaka was allegedly shot by security operatives during the day’s demonstration against SARS at Ogbomosho.
Fadeyi Olugbenga, the state police command’s spokesman, had in a chat with TheCable earlier dismissed claims that police officers shot at the protesters.
The renewed protests against SARS started last Saturday after a video showing a man allegedly gunned down in Delta by operatives of the police unit went viral