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One Dead, 12 Arrested Amid Violence at Oyo Factory Workers’ Protest

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The Oyo Police Command has confirmed the death of one individual and the arrest of twelve suspected hoodlums following a protest on Monday at the Sumal Foods factories in Oluyole, Ibadan.

Adewale Osifeso, the spokesperson for the command, released a statement on Tuesday detailing the incident. He reported that the protest, initially peaceful, was hijacked by suspected hoodlums, leading to violence and significant property damage. According to Osifeso, the unrest stemmed from misinformation claiming that Sumal Foods was depriving workers of palliatives allegedly distributed to employees of all private firms and companies.

“The Oyo State Police Command wishes to set the record straight concerning the disturbing violent protests that rocked one of the factories belonging to Sumal Foods, Oluyole Ibadan, on Monday, around 1600 hours,” Osifeso stated. “Preliminary investigation reveals that the protest was premised on widespread false information authored and peddled by some of the workers concerning the disbursement of palliatives to all privately-owned companies and firms in the country. Their grievance, however, was that they were being denied the welfare package.”

Osifeso further explained that the protest escalated when criminal elements infiltrated the demonstration, resulting in the destruction of vehicles and property worth millions of naira. Unfortunately, one death occurred during the violent events.

He assured the public that normalcy has been restored in the affected area. “However, normalcy has since returned to the area with the immediate deployment of the command’s operational and tactical assets to prevent any possible future reoccurrence. So far, twelve suspects have been arrested in connection with the violent protest,” Osifeso added.

The state Commissioner of Police, Ayodele Sonubi, has directed the Homicide Department of the State Criminal Investigation Department, supervised by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, to handle the investigation.

This incident underscores the volatile nature of misinformation and its potential to incite violence, highlighting the critical need for accurate information dissemination to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

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