Controversy has continued to trail the death of Muideen Folorunsho Mustapha who was allegedly gunned down by a policeman during the fuel subsidy removal protest in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital last Tuesday.
Mustapha was said to have been killed at the post office area of the metropolis when he joined hundreds of other youths in protesting the sudden withdrawal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
Though the Kwara State police command has said that Mustapha was killed by a motorcycle rider, popularly called okada during the protest, all accusing fingers are pointing at the direction of the police.
Family of the deceased, professional bodies and the student union were unanimous in their conclusion that Mustapha was felled by police bullets.
The Kwara State commissioner of police, Mr. Peter Gana, who confirmed Mustapha’s death during a press conference in his office on Wednesday, however, denied that the victim was shot by his men, explaining that he was stabbed to death by a commercial motorcycle operator.
Expectedly, public outcry has continued to trail the gruesome murder of Mustapha, with associations like the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin branch and National Congress of Nigerian Students (NACONS) calling for the probe of the incident. Even the state government has stressed the need for a thorough probe of Mustapha’s death.
The state government had, in a statement signed by the chief press secretary to the governor, Alh. AbdulWahab Oba, condemned the killing of the young man.
The aged father of the deceased, Alhaji Mustapha Oke-Odo, said he has accepted the death of his son as the will of God. He, however, stressed the need for the concerned authorities to bring the perpetrators of such evil act to book to serve as a lesson to others who feel they can do anything when in uniform. He said it was confirmed in the hospital that his son died of bullet wounds, adding, “We want justice.’’
In its reaction, the NBA, Ilorin branch, condemned in strong terms, the gruesome murder of Mustapha. The union in a statement titled, ‘Unwarranted Killing of an innocent protester in Iloin by Nigeria Police Force During Protest Against Removal of Subsidy,’ said it viewed the dastardly and heinous act of the police as highly barbaric, uncivilised, despicable and ungodly.