Lagos Rally: Security operatives in show of force against organizers
Security operatives have embarked on a show of force in major areas in Lagos to discourage the gathering, in any part of the metropolis, by members of the Ilana Omo Oodua, a secessionist group.
The group had scheduled a mega rally for the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom park, Ojota, Lagos, on Saturday.
As of Saturday morning, more than a dozen police vehicles were stationed around the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Ojota, Lagos, ahead of today’s Yoruba nation rally.
A combined unit of OP MESA, task force, and Rapid Response Squad and police officers numbering over 60 were present around the vicinity of the park.
Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, had warned Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, to stay away from the state or risk facing the wrath of the law.
The Lagos State Police Command and other security agencies, in anticipation that the group might go ahead with the planned rally, decided to take the preemptive measures to stave off the rally.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, explained that the action was to send a warning signal to the organisers of the rally or any group of persons planning to stage any rally or procession in the state in spite of the warnings.
“The command wishes to reiterates its stance that anyone caught participating or facilitating the so-called mega rally in Lagos State will be dealt with within the ambits of the law,” he warned.
According to Adejobi, the Police Command was working in collaboration with other security agencies, including the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps and Department of State Services.
The security operatives he said have put measures in place to prevent any act of lawlessness, oppression and intimidation, of any kind, in the state on the said date, and beyond.
He stressed that Lagos State can not afford to record a repeat of the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protest late last year.
Meanwhile, the Ilana Omo Oodua, which is the umbrella body for Yoruba Nation agitators, has urged the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to warn his men not to arrest anyone who participates in the rally.
The group’s gave the warning in a letter signed by its secretary Olasupo Ojo and addressed to the the Lagos Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu.
It further urged the Commissioner to be conversant with the law which allows for peaceful rallies to be held in Nigeria.
The group also warned that should any of the protesters be attacked by the police, the attention of the international community has already been drawn to the threat by the Commissioner, and anyone responsible for such attacks will be held responsible.