Thugs rounded up some readers at a newsstand in the Osun State capital, Osogbo and beat them up for daring to become critics over the non-payment of workers salary by the state Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Thursday, July 9, 2015.
PUNCH reports that the newsstand which is located opposite the former Governor’s office and the readers were discussing the subject when they were attacked by the thugs.
It would be recalled that pro-Aregbesola thugs had attacked protesters demanding the impeachment of Governor Aregbesola over allegations of mismanagement of state funds.
According to the owner of the stand, identified as Sherif, the hoodlums had come in a large number and they immediately descended on everybody present, destroyed the stand and tore his newspapers to shreds.
He said, “A spy sent by the hoodlums came here and said he wanted to buy a newspaper.
“We asked him which of the newspapers, but he said anyone. Suddenly, some thugs invaded this place. Some readers and I saw them on time and fled.
“But they manhandled others, who could not escape. The thugs beat them up mercilessly. They tore all my newspapers and destroyed the stand.”
Olufemi Fadeyi, a victim of the attack, disclosed that the thugs came when the argument had gone full swing and that majority of the people were against the governor’s non payment of salaries when one of them stepped aside to make a phone call. After that call, the hoodlums came and pounced upon them with blows and canes for those who couldn’t escape.
He said, “The hoodlums were armed. They rounded us up, but some escaped. They beat those caught and destroyed the stand.”
Condemning the attack, Alhaji Muhammed Olaiya, Chairman of the Newspapers Distributor Association pleaded with security agents in the state to help find all those behind the attack.
Also speaking out against the attack, The Osun State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists speaking through its Secretary, Mr. Bamigbola Gbolahunte stated that: “Any attempt to take the nation back to the dark military days shall be resisted by all lovers of democracy, including the NUJ.”
The Chairman of the Civil Societies Coalition for Emancipation of Osun State, Adeniyi Sulaiman said that it was obvious those behind the attack had something to hide and were afraid of the people.