The police in Lagos on Thursday said it would not allow any form of rally scheduled to hold in the state on July 3 by agitators of the Oodua Republic and Yoruba Nation.
In a statement by Muyiwa Adejobi, the Lagos police spokesperson, the command said they are aware of the planned protest by Sunday Igboho and his supporters.
“The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to the news making rounds and a press statement signed by one Olayomi Koiki dated 30th June, 2021, that some individuals have concluded plans to stage a mega rally, in continuation of the secessionist agenda for Oodua Republic, on 3rd July, 2021, at Gani Fawehimi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos State.
“The Lagos State Police Command hereby warns that no rally will be allowed, under whatever guise, in any part of the state. The Command, therefore, warns the organisers and their followers against staging the planned rally and stay clear of the streets of Lagos for the interest of the State and the general public as anyone caught participating or facilitating the rally will be dealt with within the ambits of the law,” the statement reads.
The police warning comes amidst claims by Mr Igboho’s camp that gunmen in military uniforms invaded the self-styled activist’s home in Ibadan in the early hours of Thursday.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, through his spokesperson Olayomi Koiki announced plans for Yoruba Nation protest in Lagos.
“We are sending a peaceful message to Governor Sanwo-Olu. We do not mind any other person who is saying we should not come to Lagos. Sanwo-Olu is the chief security officer of the land and we are coming to Lagos.
“July 3rd is the most important date; nobody cannot say we should not come to Lagos. It is a peaceful rally,” the activist said.
Reacting to the planned protest, the police said Lagos state cannot afford to experience any security lapses, breakdown of law and order, and threat to public peace at the moment, considering the negative effects and reoccurring agonies of the October, 2020 violent #EndSARS crisis that led to massive destruction of public and private facilities.
“The Command will not be cajoled by the so-called organizers that the rally will be peaceful. That was the same slogan adopted by the organizers of the #EndSARS protest that was eventually snowballed into crises with attendant massive destruction of lives and properties. The Police will not submit to their antics,” the statement reads.
The statement further said that intelligence report available to the police indicates that some disgruntled elements have perfected plans to infiltrate the ranks of the protesters and cause more mayhem and seize the opportunity to attack and loot properties of law-abiding citizens of the state.
“The organisers’ footsoldiers and mobilisers have concluded plans to embark on procession on the streets of Lagos as part of the programme for the mega rally. The effect of this, if allowed to come to fruition is better known than imagined on the security, traffic and economic activities of a cosmopolitan state, like Lagos.
“It has also come to the knowledge of the command that the rally arranged to take place at Gani Fawehimi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos, has been planned by some other yet-to-be-identified groups to simultaneously take place in LekKi Toll Gate, Ikoyi, Iyana-Ipaja, Ikeja, Surulere, Ikorodu and other areas,” the police said in the statement.
Furthermore, the Lagos police said they have gathered intelligence that one “Elewe-omo, a transport union leader in Ibadan, Oyo State, has perfected plan to attack the organisers of the rally as a reappraisal attack to the death of one of his followers allegedly killed by one Sunday Igboho’s group during a similar rally organised in Ibadan.”
The police said it will not fold its hands and allow disgruntled elements to truncate the peace being enjoyed in the state, adding that measures are in place to provide water-tight security for all and sundry in the state.