Seyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State, has said the constitution backs Nigerians protesting against the alleged brutality of the police Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.
Makinde made the remark in a response to the killing of a protester and the injuring of others allegedly by police officers in Ogbomosho area of the state.
The governor said the End SARS protest was an indication of systemic failure in the country.
Makinde, in a series of tweets on Saturday, said the protest exposed the fact that governors lacked the power to control the police in their states.
“I have received with deep sadness the news of the passing of one of our children, Jimoh Isiaka, who was shot during the End SARS protest in Ogbomoso.
“Also, at this same protest, Abdulrasaq Olawale, Oluwadamilare Gbolohunmi, and five other persons sustained injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment.
“The End SARS protests are a strong indicator of a systemic failure. It is a failure on the part of those who have been constitutionally empowered to protect the citizens.
“It again calls into question why State Governors are called Chief Security Officers of their state whereas, they do not have the necessary powers to control the police force.
“Peaceful protests are a big part of our democratic process. The right to freedom of speech and assembly are guaranteed by our Constitution, and I will never support any attempt to rob citizens of their fundamental human rights.”
Aggrieved youths have been protesting over the brutality of SARS operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF.
Following the protest, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured irate Nigerians that his administration would reform SARS.
Buhari has assured that the reform would ensure that SARS unit is accountable to Nigerians.
However, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum had claimed that Yahoo Yahoo boys and other criminal elements are behind the protest.