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Lagos Govt reads riot act, outlaws Yoruba Nations mega rally

• As police vow to deal with violators

Lagos State government, on Thursday, said that no form of planned mega rally by Yoruba nation agitators will be allowed on July 3, 2021, in the state, following intelligence reports indicating that some people wanted to use the event to cause mayhem, anarchy in the state, and, therefore, warned residents to shun the rally.

Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemi popularly called Sunday Igboho and some other individuals have concluded plans to stage a mega rally on July 3, 2021, at Gani Fawehimi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos State, in continuation of the Yoruba secessionist agenda.

The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, and state Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, gave the warning during a media briefing on the planned mega rally, held in Alausa, Ikeja.

Omotoso said the ban had become necessary following threats to lives and property of innocent citizens, noting that the state was still smarting from the negative impacts of the #EndSARS protests on the state and would not allow any repeat of such tragic incident in the state.

The commissioner, who affirmed that the state was not against rallies as people hold such as their right constitutionally, maintained that time was not right for such now, calling on those nursing the idea for now to sell it.

“I implore all those who are organising the rally to please take note of this, that nobody is saying that you shouldn’t do rally, you shouldn’t protest, nobody is saying you shouldn’t match, but the timing is not right.

“Lagos is still feeling the pains of the last October #EndSARS protests that started peacefully and ended in violence, violence on the scale that we have never witnessed before, a scale that was beyond belief of everybody.

“So, this is why we have come here today to let you know that Lagos is not against this rally but at this point in time, anybody who has the intention to join the rally should shelve it in the interest of the public and the state,” Omotoso said.

The police boss, Odumosu, strongly warned organisers and prospective participants of the planned rally on the need to keep off, declaring that no rally would be allowed, under whatever guise, in any part of the state and anyone caught participating or facilitating the rally would be dealt with within the ambits of the law.

The police commissioner, while affirming the stand of the command, said intelligent report available to it indicated that some disgruntled elements had 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 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 the Oodua Republic, on 3rd July 2021, in Lagos.

“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 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,” he said.

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“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 October 2020 violent #Endsars crisis that led to massive destruction of public and private facilities while some police personnel paid the supreme price.

“This is in addition to many police stations, barracks, officers’ personal properties that were set ablaze during this period. The command is still going through those harrowing experiences.

“The command will not be cajoled by the so-called organisers that the rally will be peaceful. That was the same slogan adopted by the organisers 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,” he added.

Odumosu, while recalling that there was a rumoured stay-at-home order purported to have been issued in respect of June 12, 2021, by a group that was immediately debunked by Lagos State Police Command, vowed that on no account would any actual or rumoured activities, including the said planned mega rally be allowed to lock down the state or hinder normal daily activities of Lagosians.

“On this note, the Command still reaffirms that on no account will any actual or rumoured activities including the said planned mega rally be allowed to lock down the state or hinder normal daily activities of the good people of
Lagos State.

“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.

“Similarly it has gotten to the knowledge of the command that 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 mega 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, numbering 18 points.

“This, if allowed could be a fatal ground to anarchy. Intelligence also reveals that one Elewe-omo, a transport Union Leader in Ibadan, Oyo State, has perfected a plan to attack the organizers 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, Oyo State some time ago,” he stated.

“The cumulative effect of all these is a threat to law and order in the State. The command will not fold its hands and allow disgruntled elements,” he vowed.

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