Despite warnings that the separatist rally should not be staged in Lagos State, agitators for Oodua Nation defied the authorities on Saturday. They trooped to the Gani Fawehinmi Park at Ojota, venue of the planned rally as early as 9:00 am.
Though there were heavily armed military and paramilitary forces at the venue, the protesters, old and young, including women adorning branded shirts and some in white apparel, were on hand to fulfill the pledge to hold the rally.
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Some of them stated that they were doing that to protest the killing, harassment and rape of people in the West by criminal herdsmen.
There were conflicting reports about whether or not the rally would hold, following statements by Sunday Adeyemo, otherwise known as Sunday Igboho, and Professor Banji Akintoye. Adeyemo, arrow head of the agitation for Yoruba Nation, had reportedly told the media that it had been suspended after a tragic raid of his house in Ibadan by men of the Department of State Service, DSS. But Professor Akintoye, leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, (IOO) umbrella body of the Yoruba Self-determination Groups, had said that the rally would be held despite the attack on Igboho’s house.
Akintoye had said that Yoruba people should actually begin the protest immediately the state security attacked the residence of Sunday Igboho and killed some people in the wee hours of Thursday.
The police command in Lagos, and authorities of the state government, held a press conference warning people to stay away from the venue of the rally. They claimed to have security information that indicated that some hoodlums were ready to hijack the rally to breach the security of the state. The concern perhaps was that the matter may get out of hands at it happened during the #EndSARS protest of 2020.
So far, that has not been reported. The police too have been very careful. They used water cannons to disperse the crowd.
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