Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state has expressed regret over the death of two students of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, killed by police during last week’s protest.
During the protest, the governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi and her entourage had passed by, but unfortunately, one thing led to another and two lives were lost, while several others sustained injuries.
Reacting Governor Fayemi said he has directed the State Commissioner of Police to commence investigation into the circumstances that led to the incident so that culprits can be punished.
Fayemi, while speaking on Monday in Ekiti, during a statewide broadcast, said:
“Any death is a tragedy. Any shooting arising from legitimate protests diminishes our fledgeling democratic dispensation and calls to question our commitment to fundamental human rights.
“Having heard from all parties to the incident, it is pertinent that I now personally convey my deeply felt sorrow for the loss of two promising young lives and for those who suffered injuries.
“To be sure, our government prides itself on its strict adherence to the rule of law. The right of citizens to protest on any issue relating to governmental actions or inactions is a fundamental component of our good governance agenda.
“We could not therefore under any circumstances have directed that deadly force be used on any of our citizens freely expressing their right to protest.
“Even before the conclusion of the investigations into this matter, we have taken a number of steps; a high-level government delegation has visited the families of the deceased. This will not be a one-off intervention. We will stand firmly with, and support the families at this time.
“Those persons with varying degrees of injuries will also be given support whilst their hospital expenses will be defrayed by the government”, Fayemi said.