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One Dead, 12 Arrested As Sumal Foods Staff Protest Against Delayed Palliative

03 July

Reported by Ayooluwa Afolabi

Operatives of the Oyo State Police Command have confirmed the death of one person and the arrest of twelve others during a violent protest by staff of Sumal Foods in Ibadan, over alleged refusal to distribute alleged Federal government’s palliatives.

It was gathered that during the protest, in an attempt to disperse them by security operatives, a casualty was recorded.

According to Sahara Reporters, In a statement shared on its official X handle on Tuesday, the command said the protest took place around 4:00 p.m. on Monday at one of the company’s factories in Oluyole, Ibadan.

The police said their investigation revealed that the workers protested over false information about the disbursement of palliative to private companies in the country.

Speaking on the protest, the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, in a statement by Police Public Relations Officer, SP Osifeso Adewale stated that 
“Police wishes to set the record straight concerning the disturbing violent protests that rocked one of the factories belonging to Sumal Foods, Oluyole extension Ibadan on Monday, 01/07/2024 around 1600hrs.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the protest was premised on false information created and peddled by some workers over the disbursement of palliatives to privately-owned companies,’’ he said.

“Their grouse however was that they were being denied the welfare package. Sadly, the protest was hijacked by criminal elements who forced their way into the factory destroying vehicles and property worth millions of naira.

“So far, (12) Twelve Suspects have been arrested in connection with the violent protest.

“Furthermore, the CP has ordered that the entire case be taken up by the Homicide Department of the Criminal Investigation Department with the Deputy Commissioner of Police directly in charge of investigations.

“More updates will be provided accordingly, please.

However, the police said normalcy had been restored to the affected area after officers were deployed to prevent future reoccurrences.

A staff member of the factory told Sahara Reporters that the management had invited the police to the premises before they arrived at work.

He alleged that the operatives “started harassing the workers. They shot teargas canisters at the protesting workers, and that incident scattered the people. Then they started shooting live bullets at the protesters.”

“They shot one person, called Phillips dead. I saw his dead body, and later, I heard they killed two more people. But I am sure of one person I saw his body. I just know the person as Phillip; he is a staff member in year three. 

All the staff, including the contract staff, joined in the protest and it was largely peaceful until police started shooting them,” he further alleged.

In cases of emergencies, the Command can always be reached through these emergency control room numbers: 615 (Toll-free) (Oyo State Security Response Center) and Oyo State Police Command Emergency line 08081768614, 09054133071 and 09061299291.
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