Operatives of the Department of State Services, on Wednesday stopped a rally of the Yoruba Summit Group in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The rally was scheduled to hold in front of the Government House, Agodi Arcade.
The group, an amalgamation of all socio-cultural and self-determination groups in Yorubaland, had planned to discuss insecurity in the South-West but the security operatives in about five buses arrived at the venue at 7am and barricaded the area.
Three people, including a sound system operator contracted to provide services at the event, were whisked away to the state headquarters of the DSS at Aleshinloye.
A public affairs analyst and state Coordinator of the Oodua Coalition Against Insurgency and Kidnapping in Yorubaland, Dr Tunde Hamzat, and a female activist identified as Princess Oyeronke, were among those arrested.
Confirming the arrests, the National Public Relations Officer of the Odua Peoples Congress (New Era), Adesina Akinpelu, decried the development.
“We got the necessary approval, but we were surprised to see men of the DSS arriving much earlier, even before the coalition members, with the intent to stop the rally,” Akinpelu said.
He alleged that the officials were still looking for other leaders of the coalition.
Akinpelu said the botched rally was tagged o to ge (enough is enough) to commemorate the June 12 Democracy Day.
He added, “The rally was called to address the issue of insecurity in the land and safeguard Yoruba people who are becoming endangered in the land through incessant kidnappings and wanton attacks on their farmlands.
“We don’t want to take the law into our own hands and that’s why we called the meeting to drum it to the hearing of Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari, that aside declaring June 12 Democracy Day, he should also tackle the issue of insecurity in our land.”
He said all entreaties by leaders of the Yoruba Summit Group comprising representatives of Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders, Yoruba Koya Movement, Yoruba Unity Forum, Oodua Peoples Congress, Atayese and Voice of Reason, among others, fell on deaf ears of the security operatives who claimed to be acting on “orders from above.”