By Sunday Aloba, Ado-Ekiti
Some protesters believed to be members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) have demanded the release of members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Ado-Ekiti Prisons. The protesters on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital demanded the release of the APC members who are currently in prison custody for alleged murder.
The protesters defied an early morning downpour to stage the protest at the state APC secretariat in Ajilosun area of the city.
They demanded the release of seven persons accused of complicity in the murder of the former state Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Omolafe Aderiye, on September 25, 2014.
Those facing trial and detained in prison custody are two former RTEAN chairmen, Adebayo Aderiye a.k.a. Ojugo and Rotimi Olanbiwonnu a.k.a. Mentilo; state OPC leader, Adeniyi Adedipe a.k.a Apase; Sola Durodola, Ajayi Kayode, Oso Farotimi and Sola Adenijo a.k.a. Solar.
The protesters alleged that the detainees were arrested on trumped-up charges and slammed into prison because of their membership of the APC calling on senior party leaders to intervene and save them from death in custody.
They appealed to former governors who are members of the party, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Chief Segun Oni and Dr. Kayode Fayemi and other leaders like presidential aide, Babafemi Ojudu, state party chairman, Olajide Awe to intervene and save their party men.
The protesters also called on Governor Ayo Fayose to act like a statesman, rise above partisan interests and facilitate the release of the detainees whom have been unjustly punished for what they knew nothing about.
Some of their songs include “E tu won sile o, awon to wa l’atimole, e tu won sile (release them, release those who are in custody, set them free), “solidarity forever, solidarity forever.”
Protest leader, Tunde Makanjujaye, described the APC members as “political prisoners”, saying the prosecution has failed to establish a case of murder against them now resort to what he called “frivolous applications” at the Appeal Court to stall the case.
Makanjujaye lamented that their incarceration has affected their health and ruined their businesses. He regretted that the vehicles of the detained transport union members have grounded while OPC boss’ auto business has collapsed.