The police in Ogun State have barred the planned rally to promote the concept of a Yoruba nation, scheduled to hold in Abeokuta, the state capital on Saturday.
Spokesman for the Ogun police command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement on Thursday, urged the organisers of the rally to shelve all plans so as not to disrupt peace in the state.
He stated that previous rallies organised by the group led to restriction of movement in parts of the state, as well as attacks on security agencies.
Oyeyemi further said hoodlums may take advantage of such gatherings to unleash violence on residents.
The statement read, “It will be recalled that the group had on 21/3/2021 staged a public rally at Isara Remo for the actualisation of Oduduwa Republic, where they blocked highways and made free-flow of traffic very difficult for other road users. The same group staged another rally in Shagamu on 16/4/2021 where they made an attempt to attack Shagamu police station for no reason. Yet, on 25/4/2021, they held another rally at Ajuwon where in the course of stopping them from distributing inciting letters, policemen and other security agents were jeered at and pelted with missiles.
“The same group is again planning to hold another mass rally on 1st May 2021 at Abeokuta, making it the 4th rally in the state in quick succession.
“The general public should note that the Command had difficulties in preventing hoodlums from infiltrating and hijacking the earlier rallies and preventing what would have been a major breakdown of law and order and disturbance of public peace.
“We had also exhibited restraint and absolute calm even in the face of extreme provocations by the organisers of the rallies and their cohorts.
“However, it is important to note that the police will not perpetually stand by and watch public conducts of some citizens hold others to the ransom and threaten the corporate existence of the country. The Command is especially worried that if care is not taken, the pains and agonies that similar agitations and rallies are presently causing in some parts of the country may be repeated in our very peaceful Ogun State.
“It is also instructive to note that available intelligence shows that the organisers of these rallies are being sponsored by certain individuals outside the State and the country to destabilise Ogun State.
“The Command, therefore, wishes to appeal to the leaders of this group to shelve the idea of staging another public rally in any part of the State for now, as such is capable of undermining the relative peace being enjoyed in the entire State. Consequently, the rally slated for Abeokuta on 1st May 2021, is viewed by the Command as one too many in the State, and therefore not approved.”
The development comes days after a similar rally was held in Oyo state, despite disruption by police officers.