BENIN CITY- The #ENDSARS protest in Benin City, the Edo State Capital yesterday turned violent as hoodlums and protesting youths clashed during the protest.
It was learnt that several youths sustained injuries during the violence.
It was gathered that the youths in their hundreds were protesting at the popular kingsquare when hoodlums suddenly appeared with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons to attack them.
While some of the protesting youths took to their heels, others stayed back, persuading the hoodlums that the peaceful protest is for all of the youths and that they were not out to fight anybody.
It was further learnt that the hoodlums who were clad in red t-shirt, were saying “why are they disturbing our work,” and in the process brought out cutlasses and other dangerous to attack the protesting youths.
One of the injured youths, Abere Godswill, during the attack, said the hoodlums descended on him, thinking he wanted to video them while removing the cutlasses from their vehicle
“I didn’t joined the protest, I was coming from the bank when I met them on the road. Because I hold phone in my hand, they started beating me saying I wanted to video them. They collected the phone and I had to run for my life,” he said
The youths, however, later regrouped after the hoodlums had been chased away and continued the protest.
One of the protesters, Efosa Igbinoba ,who spoke to journalists said they were at Ring road to protest police brutality and good governance in Nigeria only to be attacked by hoodlums.
“We started the protest from Sapele road but on getting to the ring road, hoodlums just appeared from nowhere with cutlasses and guns to attack us and disrupt the protest.
“Our demands are, don’t end SARS and come with SWAT, police should be reformed as well as reduction of salary of the members of the House of Representative and the Senate,” he said.
Another protesters, Victoria Nkechi, (60), said she is on the street to support the youths in their protest for good governance.
“Years ago, I called for protest due to bad governance, but no body listen to me. Today, I am glad that they are protesting for good governance today,” she said.