At least three persons were reported shot on Wednesday when hundreds of women protested against the two-week extension of COVID-19 lockdown by the Delta State government in Sapele Local Government Area of the state.
The victims, a woman, and two youths, were shot by members of the vigilante group in the heat of the violent protest which rocked the oil-rich city in Delta.
A source who spoke to Punch said that “the women were protesting the two weeks lockdown and the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa insensitivity of the state government in tackling the raging hunger induced by the total lockdown in the state.
“The state governor, Okowa in a state-wide broadcast announced the extension of the stay-at-home order while also similarly imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew to checkmate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“Delta currently only has four confirmed cases of the COVID -19 pandemic with one of the patients died before the result of the test carried out on him could be released last week.
“The absence of palliative from the state government to cushion the effect of the lockdown. That is why we are here.
“The protest was, however, hijacked by youths when the Sapele Council Chairman, Hon Eugene Inoaghan, was addressing the protesting women.
“The hoodlums who hijacked the protest were alleged to have pelted the council chairman and other members of his entourage with stones when the situation turned violence leading to the tear-gassing of the protesters by police operatives.
“In a bit to calm the situation and to disperse the youths, some vigilante members reportedly shot three victims.
“Hoodlums subsequently took advantage of the situation to invade shops where they allegedly carted away goods belonging to traders who were observing the lockdown”.
Confirming the development, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onowakpoyeya, said, “some of the hoodlums had been arrested by the Sapele Area Command”.