Moshood Adebayo, Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The hope of the organisers of a rally in support of the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security outfit, codenamed “Operation Amotekun”, was dashed as the police aborted the rally earlier billed for the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos.
The pro-Amotekun protesters, who arrived the venue as early as 7:00 am were shocked to have met scores of security personnel, including police officers, Department of State Services (DSS) personnel and other security operatives at the square on arrival.
The security personnel, with no fewer than 30 operational vehicles, barricaded the Gani Fawehinmi Park where the rally organised by Yoruba World Congress (YWC) was to hold.
A senior police officer, who spoke with Daily Sun on condition of anonymity, said they were acting under strict instruction that the rally, in whatever form, must not be allowed to hold.
“We are acting based on an order that the rally must not hold, because it tends to disrupt the peaceful nature of a state like Lagos,” the police officer said.
Reacting to the development, which he described as sad, one of the coordinators of the South-West wide rally in the state, George Akinola, who addressed the press within the precinct of the park, said: “The rally is in support of the governors of the South-West states in Nigeria, including Kwara and Kogi, who have decided to set up a protective force called Amotekun.
“Amotekun is supposed to work with the police and other security agencies to protect Yorubaland and its property from murderers, robbers and ritualists and all other people busy terrorising Yorubaland and that is the main reason why the rally wanted to hold, but the police have prevented us from holding it.
“Nigeria, according to her constitution, is a democratically free society with the right to gather peacefully and that is why the rally was not done behind the police.
“Amotekun’s voice must be heard, which means it should be allowed to be because it is meant to protect lives and property of Yorubaland, which has been subjected to indiscriminate and annoying oppression in Nigeria, which Amotekun will not allow any more.
“Nobody knows Yorubaland better than the [sons of] Oduduwa. Whoever comes to Yorubaland to kill are known. Amotekun has 10,000-year-old technology that nobody knows. Amotekun must stand, it is a protective force for Yorubaland.
Also responding, Mathew Adeyemi Adeleye, Director of Media and Communication, Yoruba World Congress, who also addressed the press, lamented the disruption of the rally by the police and other security agencies.
“I express sadness that the police [would] deny us entry despite an earlier approved order. With this development, Yoruba leader Prof BanjI Akintoye will inform the nation of the next line of action within the next twenty-four hours,” he stated.