The police have reportedly clamped down on members of Yoruba self-determination groups preparing to stage a rally in Abeokuta today.
The Media and Communications Secretary of Ilana Omo Oodua, Maxwell Adeleye, said in a statement made available to THE WHISTLER on Saturday morning.
He said 25 members of the group had been arrested by the police.
The groups’ spokepman said Wasiu Iyanda, Makanjuola Adigun, and 23 others were arrested in Abeokuta and were being detained in police custody.
Adeleye said, “This is to let the general public know that the centrally-controlled Officers of the Nigeria Police have arrested 25 of our comrades as they were preparing for the pro-Yoruba nation rally scheduled to hold today in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
“The arrested Yoruba patroits were picked up in a commando style in front of the Alake Of Egba’s Palace in Abeokuta, the state capital by over 200 armed-to-teeth officers of the Nigeria Police.
“We want to put it on record that those arrested did not commit any crime, rather, they are being vilified and harassed for exercising their rights to self-determination and peaceful assembly.
“We at Ilana Omo Oodua, renowned for peace and respect for the rules of law, are demanding the unconditional release of our members with immediate effect or else, there will be mass actions against the police across Yorubaland commencing from tomorrow.
“We also call on the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to ensure that his state is not used to oppress the Yoruba people in any manner.”
The Ilana Omo Oodua, which is the umbrella body for Yoruba self- determination groups is being led by a renowned Historian, Emeritus Prof. Banji Akintoye.
The police had warned the group against staging the rally but Ilana Omo Oodua had also vowed to go ahead with the rally, saying the police had no power to stop a self-determination rally because the agitators were not violent in their approach.