The Osun State Artisan Workers Union on Friday, protested at the Palace of the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, over the assault and threat to the life of their members by some louts popularly called ‘Omo Onile’.
The Union said the louts visited sites where their members were working and demanded money, adding that they resulted in assaulting them whenever their demands were not met.
Speaking with newsmen, the state coordinator of the Union, Comrade Adedokun Waheed, noted that they had already written to the state government and security agencies about the problems they were facing from the miscreants.
According to him, members of the union did not want to resort to self-defence, hence the reason why they came to express their displeasure at the palace.
He said: “We are here today to express our displeasure over the way some hoodlums are disturbing our workers in the course of doing their duties.
“These hoodlums will go to wherever our members are working and demand money, beating them up if they don’t give them money. They demand between N100,000 to N1 million.
“We are calling on the state government and the security agencies to call these people into order so that peace will reign in the society.”
One of the victims who identified himself as AbdulGaniyu Bamikole said that the louts who assaulted him told them they had to do so for the house owner to take them seriously.
According to him, “We were roofing a house around Osogbo Local Government that day when these hoodlums came around. As soon as they arrived, they asked us to come down.
“Before we got down, they had already started beating the boy they met on the ground. I asked why they were beating him since we obeyed them. That Infuriated them and they pounced on me.
“I was beating with a cutlass. They told me they had to beat us so that the owner of the house would take them seriously and pay them well.”
Speaking on behalf of the Ataoja who was said to be out of town, the Babakekere of Osogboland, Prince Sulaiman Olanipekun assured the union that the monarch would look into the issue once he returned.
He appealed to members of the union to keep calm and go about their daily activities peacefully.