The Ogun State Police Command says it did not approve ‘Oduduwa nation’ rally proposed to hold in the state on Saturday May 1, 2021.
It advised parents and guardians to warn their children and wards not to be involved in any of such gathering that might expose them to violence and consequently bring them on a collision course with the security agencies.
This was contained in a statement issued by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi on Thursday night.
He said this warning became necessary, because the command was disturbed that some people who under the guise of agitating for Oduduwa nation have recently staged a series of public rallies in different parts of the state, and caused serious panic in the minds of the people.
While the state police spokesman said “the command is not oblivious of the constitutional rights of citizens to freedom of association and expression; but we however want to caution that these rights should not be exercised to the detriment of other citizens.”
He recalled that the group had on 21st March 2021 staged a public rally at Isara Remo for the actualization of Oduduwa republic, where they blocked highways and made free-flow of traffic very difficult for other road users.
He stated further, “The same group staged another rally in Shagamu on 16/4/2021 where they made an attempt to attack Sagamu 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 organizers 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 agitators 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 organizers of these rallies are being sponsored by certain individuals outside the State and the country to destabilize 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.”