11 arrested, as Yoruba nation agitators, police clash in Ogun

Ogun Police Command on Saturday arrested 11 Yoruba nation agitators who defied the police ban on the  mass rally in Abeokuta.

The rally held jointly by two groups –  Ilana Omo Oduduwa and Omo Kootu Ojire Omo Oduduwa Atata – took their procession around Abeokuta in defiance of the police order barring the demonstration.

As early as 7 am on Saturday, our correspondent observed that security operatives took over the streets of Abeokuta in order to stop the rally.

Police helicopters were also sighted hovering over some areas in the state capital

A correspondent who visited the palace of Alake of Egbaland, the venue of the rally, observed joint security operatives manning strategic positions on the street. The team was led by the Area Commander of Adatan, Ayo Edun.

A young man wearing ritual gear, Zannu Williams, and 10 others were arrested in front of the palace and whisked away in a police van to the State Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta.

Singing solitary songs, the procession comprising young men and women, toured different parts of Abeokuta and later headed to police headquarters where leaders of the group reportedly demanded the release of the agitators.

There was a clash between the agitators and the police officers around Eleweran when the proponents of secession demanded the release of their members.

Some of the agitators after the rally in Abeokuta. Pic by Peter Moses

It was gathered that the police later released those arrested on the order of the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun.

The agitators on their way back from Eleweran, allegedly attacked some policemen on the road, injuring a number of them.

Speaking with newsmen, the Publicity Secretary of Omo Kootu Ojire Omo Oduduwa Atata, Ibukunoluwa John described the rally as peaceful and violence-free.

John said, “The rally started exactly 9 am and ended at 4:30 pm and ended without violence. We were not part of any violence or hijacking of police rifles.

“We want to tell the public that we are not part of anything that is violent today. We held our rally. It was peaceful and nothing like violence.”

Reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi accused the agitators of launching unprovoked attacks on the security operatives.

Oyeyemi said the agitators attacked the police headquarters in the state and some policemen on duty.

He confirmed that 11 of them were earlier arrested for unruly behaviour at Alake palace and were later released on the order of the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun.

He said, “We just woke up early in the morning and saw some group of people in front of the Alake palace conducting themselves in unruly manners. And don’t forget that one of them had issued a threat to the Alake before, so, our men went there to challenge them and they were unable to give a satisfactory answer.

“Eleven of them were arrested and the Commissioner of Police directed that they should be released, we profiled, screened and released them. Despite that we released them on the order of the Commissioner of Police , these people still went  as far as Police Headquarters Eleweran to launch an attack on  Police.

“Though we have already dispersed them, they still attacked our men at Moore junction. They attacked policemen who were on their lawful duty, they attacked them for just no reason.

“We are sounding a note of warning to them. They are trying to provoke law enforcement agents, they should be warned that we are law enforcement agents, we are holding our peace because we are following the rules of engagement and we don’t want to engage in an unnecessary show of force with some people.

“They should not take our civility for a licence for them to be attacking our men, it will no longer be tolerated.

“We are still collating the result of their unruly behaviour and I will make that one available .”

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