Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Various Yoruba interest groups, including the Yoruba World Congress (YWC), Yoruba People’s Congress and Federation of Yoruba Consciousness and Culture held a rally on Wednesday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, in support of the newly introduced South-West regional security outfit, Operation Amotekun.
The rally, one of several holding across states of South-West Nigeria which comprise traditional Yorubaland, which kicked off at Akure’s MKO Abiola Democracy Park at 11 am, and was attended by students, traders and artisans.
The participants later moved to the palace of the Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo and the office of the state Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
The rally was earlier slated to hold at the Alagbaka roundabout, but was later changed due to undisclosed reasons.
At the palace of the Deji of Akure, the monarch, who spoke through his chief of staff, Toyin Aladetoyinbo, urged those participating in the rally to maintain peace and carry out their activities lawfully.
The monarch said the people of Akure are in support of any ploy that will bring peace and cohesion to the South-West region.
The coordinator of the groups, Mr Oluyi Akintade, said the rally was to express support for South-West governors in regards to the controversial region-wide security network ‘Operation Amotekun’, urging the governors not to bow to pressure from Federal Government.
He said: “Operation Amotekun has come to stay in the South-West and no force on earth can stop it. The people of Yorubaland are solidly behind the Governor and we shall continue to stand by them.
“The Yoruba people have spoken with one voice and we are determined to ensure that Operation Amotekun stays. We are appealing to the six governors of the South-West to stand by their people on this issue,” he added.
The participants at the rally, who wore clothes with the inscription of Amotekun and carried various Yoruba traditional objects, chanted various solidarity songs in support of the regional security force.