DESPITE the attack on the residence of Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, his supporters and fellow activists have vowed to go ahead with plans to stage the Yoruba Nation rally in Lagos on Saturday.
The decision to proceed with the rally was disclosed in a statement released on Friday by the Communication Manager of the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, the Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), Maxwell Adeleye.
Adeleye said the pro-Yoruba Nation rally scheduled to hold in Lagos State on Saturday, July 3, would still take place.
“Our rally scheduled to hold on Saturday will still hold without any fear or intimidation and we promise to be peaceful like we have always been,” Adeleye said.
Also, a media aide to Igboho, Olayomi Koiki, confirmed that the rally would go ahead on Saturday as originally scheduled.
“I can rightly confirm that the rally will go on as planned. Once again, the 3rd of July rally will go ahead as planned. I have spoken to the organisers; nothing has changed so far.
“It will take place from 9:00 am and all arrangements will go ahead. Before coming on air, I spoke with George Akinola, the secretary of Ilana Omo Oodua.
“I also came out with the press statement with Prof Banji Akintoye. He is working tirelessly for the release of 10 persons that were kidnapped from the house of Sunday Igboho,” Koiki said.
The decision to proceed with the rally is coming a day after Igboho’s residence was attacked by the operatives of the State Security Services (SSS).
The ICIR had reported that at least seven people were killed during the attack on the residence of the self-acclaimed Yoruba Nation agitator located in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday.
The SSS spokesman Peter Afunanya informed journalists later on Thursday evening that the raid was based on intelligence reports that Igboho was stockpiling arms to cause chaos within the South-West region.
Afunanya said that the joint team of security operatives who raided Igboho’s residence arrested 13 of his armed men, including 12 males and 1 female.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Police Command has warned the campaigners that the proposed rally would not be allowed to take place in the state due to public safety.
The warning was contained in a communique issued by the Lagos State Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu on Thursday concerning the planned rally.
“It has also come to the knowledge of the command that the rally arranged to take place at Gani Fawehimi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos, has been planned by some other yet-to-be-identified groups to simultaneously take place in Lekki Toll Gate, Ikoyi, Iyana-Ipaja, Ikeja, Surulere, Ikorodu, and other areas. This, if allowed could be a fatal ground to anarchy,” parts of the communique read.
Odumosu also said that the police had received intelligence reports that there had been a perfected plan to attack the organisers of the rally “as a reprisal attack to the death of one of his followers allegedly killed by one Sunday Igboho’s group during a similar rally organised in Ibadan, Oyo State, sometimes ago.”
The police commissioner said the planned rallies and counter-rallies posed a threat to law and order in the state and would not be allowed to take place.