By Lukman Olabiyi
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu has declared that no rally will be allowed, under whatever guise, in any part of Lagos State and warned both promoter of Yoruba nation, Sunday Adeyemo, popular known as Sunday Igboho and Prof. Banji Akintoye to stay away from the state.
The state government has also shared similar view, its Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso held that government decision to stop any form of rally by secessionist agitators, proposed for July 3, 2021, was based on intelligence reports got that the rally will be use to cause mayhem, anarchy in the state therefore, warned residents to shun the rally
Speaking at joint press conference held at Alausa, Ikeja both Odumosu and Omotoso warned the organizers 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.
Omotoso, explained that the ban of the rally has become necessary following threats to lives and property of innocent citizens.
He noted that the state is still smarting from the negative impacts of the #EndSARS on the state and would not allow any repeat of such tragic incident in the state.
According to him, “I implore all those who are organizing 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, 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.”
Odumosu, while sending strong warning to organisers and prospective participants on the need to keep off, said: “The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to the news making rounds and a press statement signed by one OlayomiKoiki 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, 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 organizers 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.
“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 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 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.”
He recalled that on June 12, 2021 there was a rumored stay-at-home order purported to have been issued by
a group which was immediately debunked by Lagos State Police Command.
“On this note, the Command still reaffirms that on no account will any actual or rumored activities including
the said planned mega rally be allowed to lockdown the state or hinder normal daily activities of the good people of Lagos State.
“Intelligent 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 citizen of the state.
“Similarly it has gotten to the knowledge of the Command that the organizers’ footsoldiers and mobilizers 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, 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 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 organized in Ibadan, Oyo State sometimes ago.
“The cumulative effect of all these is threat to law and order in the State. The command will not fold its hands and allow disgruntled elements.”