Following the destruction of the Palace of the Soun of Ogbomoso during the #EndSars protest, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state has approved the sum of N100 million for the renovation of the palace of the Soun of Ogbomosoland.
The palace was attacked on Sunday during a protest against the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) of the Nigeria police force over reports of police brutality and extrajudicial killings.
Nigerian youths have turned out in the numbers all over the country calling for the scrapping of SARS, and Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, has disbanded the unit.
Speaking during a visit to the palace of Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, the Soun of Ogbomosoland, on Tuesday, Makinde said unless governments at all levels quickly address the challenges facing the country, including that of youth unemployment, the protests might continue.
A statement by Taiwo Adisa, chief press secretary to the governor, noted that the governor also instructed Bayo Lawal, commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters and the caretaker chairman of Ogbomoso north local government to make an evaluation of the items destroyed at the palace with a view to fixing or replacing them.
“We will have to engage with our people. At the heart of this is not just the issue of SARS. There has been pent-up anger. The issue of the pandemic, unemployment and other factors are those things that led to what we are seeing today,” Makinde was quoted as saying.
“So I am sincerely sorry for this level of damage, sir. Your children did it. That is part of the price we have to pay for the current state of the country. Kabiyesi, as a government, we will do everything possible to ensure there is palliative. We will also ensure that we beautify the structure.
“I have also seen the vehicles they destroyed. They have to replace the windshields and all of that. Some, they may have to replace the vehicle completely. I saw a Toyota RAV 4 car which is almost completely destroyed. So I will ask the chairman of Ogbomoso north local government and the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters to come for the assessment.
“I will release N100 million immediately to commence the repairs on the things that were damaged in the palace, while I will go to town to engage our youth protesters.
“Let me also say that this is a wakeup call for us. As leaders, we must ensure that we quickly look at things to do to make most of our youths engaged, otherwise, this will definitely continue.”
In his response, the Soun of Ogbomoso appreciated the governor’s visit and urged those in government to wake up to their responsibilities.
In the same vein, the governor also visited the families of Isiaka Jimoh and others who lost their lives during the #EndSARS protests in Ogbomoso over the weekend, where he called for calm and promised that his administration will provide compensation.
“There is no amount of money we can give to you that can pacify the irreplaceable loss of your child. But I can assure that the government will assist you. You will be given N1million now and they will come back to ask you what the government can further do to help you. We don’t know the kind of potential that the deceased possessed, but it is rather painful that his life was cut short at a very young age,” he said. “I pray that God will comfort and be with you.”