According to a report by Sun News, two victims of last year’s #EndSARS protest were part of protests marking the one-year anniversary of the nationwide demonstrations anniversary at the Oba Ovonramwen Square, Ring Road in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
One of the victims, a fashion designer identified as Miracle Ailenokhoriah, had been bedridden as a result of a gunshot to his right thigh, while the other, Stephen Asekhame, had his left leg amputated as a result of a gunshot from soldiers in Auchi.
Narrating his ordeal, Asekhame from Uhonmora said in Owan West Local Government Area, said: ‘During the protest last year on the 19th of October 2020, we in Auchi decided to hold our own peaceful protest, on that day and during the protest, soldiers ran into us and I was hit by a bullet that led to the amputation of my left leg. I was a student then but now I am a graduate and I am supposed to go for service next Sunday.
‘I presented my case before the panel through my lawyer, but till now we have not heard anything from the panel.’
The other victim, Ailenokhoriah, who was accompanied by his mother, said they were protesting in the Market Square in Ekpoma when a policeman he identified as Sergeant Ade shot him and then ‘himself and other policemen with him started beating men and they said if I die, I will be buried behind the police station.
‘I was later sent to the hospital where I spent three months and now we resorted to traditional treatment but since then, I have not been able to stand up,’ he said.
Corroborating his narration, Ailenokhoriah’s mother, Betty Odiagbe, said they also sent a petition and appeared before the #EndSARS panel but nothing has come out of it.
She added that she has spent all her resources trying to take care of her son and that has made it impossible for her to pay the school fees of her children.
The protesters are demanding employment for the victims of the protest in the state and the implementation of the report of the judicial panel that was set up by the state government, also requesting that all those still in detention as a result of the protest should be released unconditionally.
Security forces drawn from the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and local vigilantes were on the ground to ensure peace while members of the Public Works Volunteers (PUWOV) controlled traffic while the peaceful march lasted.
One of the organisers of the rally, Kola Edokpayi, stated: ‘I want the state government to implement the recommendations of the panel and the federal government should make 20th of October every year as a public holiday to commemorate the #EndSARS protest and give respect to the fallen heroes. These ones here who have been injured should be given automatic employment.’