Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has announced the deployment of free Omituntun transport buses to ease the pains of the people of the state from the twin crisis of naira and fuel scarcity that have been the lot of Nigerians in recent weeks.
Governor Makinde, who announced this in a statewide broadcast aired on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) on Friday night, said that the state government was ready to do whatever it can to alleviate the suffering of the masses.
The governor, who frowned at the resort to violence protests by some residents of Ibadan earlier on Friday, said that while citizens are free to express their feelings peacefully, government would not condone any resort to violence.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor also put all the security agencies operating in the state on high alert to avert any breakdown of law and order.
The statement also quoted the governor as urging the people to ensure they use their Permanent Voters Cards to usher in a responsible government in the forthcoming general election, adding that resort to violence breeds other problems.
According to him, the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses would be deployed to more routes within the state for free, in order to ameliorate the suffering of the people.
The governor also said that the state was also working with Chairmen of local governments to provide immediate palliatives for the vulnerable people in order to alleviate the hardships that the twin scarcity of naira and fuel have brought upon them.
He urged all law-abiding citizens and residents of the state to go about their lawful activities peacefully.
The governor said: “My Dear Good People of Oyo State.
“I am addressing you today because of the prevailing conditions in our state and country that have led to protests and riots, especially in Ibadan.
“First, let me say that I understand the need for these protests. When citizens get pushed to the wall, there is only so much that they can take. “The continuous fuel scarcity and the scarcity of the naira have led to slow economic activities. I must repeat, I understand, and I feel your pain.
“I have always maintained that peaceful protests are fine. When things are not going how we want them to go, we have a right and even a responsibility to protest.
“Let me also state that while we are protesting, we must remember how easily a peaceful protest can turn violent and lead to the loss of lives and property. The violence that erupted in parts of Ibadan today (Friday) is condemnable and will not be tolerated.
“In response to this, I have suspended all campaign activities forthwith. I have also met with the heads of security agencies in Oyo State to restore calm and maintain the peace in our dear state.
“Violence cannot and will not solve our problems, it only creates new ones. We have another opportunity in a few weeks to move this country in a new direction. Use your PVC, not violence.
“We must not allow elements within us who have other motives to take advantage of peaceful protests to perpetrate evil or push their agendas.
“I urge all law-abiding citizens and residents of the state to go about their lawful activities. All our security agencies are on high alert and so, peaceful residents of the state have no cause to fear.
“As a palliative measure, I have directed that the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses should be deployed to more routes within the state for free. “We are also working with Local Government Chairmen to see what immediate palliatives we can make available to the most vulnerable amongst us to alleviate the hardships that the twin scarcity of fuel and the naira have brought upon our people.
“Once again, we have another opportunity to put an end to oppressive systems and that is through the ballot. For now, I urge everyone to remain calm as we are doing our best to mitigate the hardships.”