By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Nigerian social media has been awash with reports of the destruction of the Muslim Hospital, Ede by a popular thug who goes by the name Ayo Olawuyi, a.k.a. ‘A.Y.’.
The suspect went berserk when his brother, Mutiu Olawuyi, whom he brought to the hospital in a critical condition gave up the ghost. He beat up the doctor and destroyed the hospital building and equipment.
Reacting to this incident, an Islamic human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has described the suspect’s attitude as bohemian and barbaric.
This was revealed in a press statement issued by Professor Ishaq Akintola, Director of the organization on Friday, 3rdJuly, 2020.
The Director explained further, “What happened in Ede on Friday 27thJune, 2020 is hard to believe. The police watched helplessly as a lone thug by the name Ayo Olawuyi went berserk. He beat up the Medical Director, Dr. Mas’ud Akanbi and went ahead smashing all the windows in the hospital. All the police could do was shout at him, ‘Ayo, it is ok now. Ayo, it is enough now. Ayo, calm down’.
“We are shocked that the police made no attempt to arrest this lone hoodlum as he vent his spleen on hospital windows and equipment. Even the chairman of the local government who was at the scene was allegedly heard saying, ‘Only Baba Timi (i.e. the Timi of Ede) can stop him.’
“MURIC is disappointed by the attitude of the police in Ede. It is the height of official cowardice and dereliction of duty to do nothing while a criminal continues to damage public property. It is unprofessional, preposterous and disgraceful. The tax-paying people of Ede who witnessed the carnage were left at the mercy of the hoodlum. Surprisingly, he left the scene unchallenged.
“The only saving grace was the state’s commissioner of Police, Olafimihan Adeoye. He ordered the arrest of the culprit the next day and transferred the D.P.O with immediate effect. We commend the state Commissioner of Police for righting the wrong without wasting any time.
“However, the culprit was allowed to go on bail with two sureties the next day because he was strongly suspected to have contracted COVID-19. He was tested and allowed to leave with the instruction that he must return when the result of his test is ready.
“While we appreciate the efforts of the Commissioner of Police, we call for strict pursuance of due process in the case. The allusion to the Timi of Ede as the only one who could stop him is pregnant with meanings. It may be seen as an indictment of sorts. What kind of influence does the Timi wield on a public nuisance whom the police treat with awe?
“Ayo the thug must be rearrested and prosecuted for assault, battery and wilful damage. Royal pressure or no royal pressure, there must be no coverup. We charge the Osun State Police Command to adhere strictly to the principle of equality before the law. Democracy and the rule of law are under threat in Ede. People are no longer safe in that city. In particular, both the patients and staff of the Muslim Hospital, Ede, are not safe as long as Ayo the thug still roams the streets as a free man.
“There are reports that Ede has become a den of thugs, hooligans, hoodlums and cultists. A drastic operation is needed to flush out these unscrupulous elements. Such an operation may not be successfully carried out with the present crop of police officers on ground in the town. We therefore demand the transfer of key officers in the division. Ede police division needs new brooms to be able to sweep clean.
“In addition, we call on the governor of the State of Osun, to prevail on the Timi of Ede, not to drag the royal stool into disrespect through his hobnobbing with undesirable elements in Ede town.”