In apparent defiance to warnings by Police authorities, Yoruba Nation’s agitators o Saturday, stormed the Gani Fawenhimi Freedom Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos, venue of planned mega rally, with a young girl, 14 feared killed by a stray bullet from policemen while trying to disperse the surging protesters.

The situation was initially calm became rowdy at about 12.30pm, when all entreaties to retreat by policemen was shunned by the recalcitrant protesters as they moved forcefully to gain entrance into the heavily guarded park.

The trouble started after the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, addressed journalists at the venue, saying “no rally is allowed in Lagos.

However, some Yoruba nation agitators dared the security operatives by spreading banners and flyers to announce their arrival and presence. A few minutes later, shots were fired and hot water from an armoured tank was sprayed to disperse them.

Some of the agitators were seen getting dragged into an armoured tank by policemen.

In he process, a young girl of about 14 year old, clad in a white top and black trousers, was reportedly hit by a stray bullet.

The stomach of the girl was said to have been ripped by the stray bullet fired by the security men dispersing the crowd of agitators for the Yoruba Nation.

The girl, simply identified as Jumoke was said to be displaying her wares when she suddenly fell to the stray bullet from the security men.

At press time, around 2.30pm, it could not be confirmed if the victim who was rushed to a nearby hospital later died or
responding to treatment. The police command was yet to confirm the state of the victim.

Earlier, as part of measures to ward off people gathering at the Park, armed Policemen and men.of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and others have cordoned off some parts of Ikorodu Road and environs, resulting in heavy traffic around the axis.

Generally, at about 8 am to 11 pm, the situation remained calm as people were seen going about their normal legitimate businesses devoid of any violence or chaos amid heavy presence of security operatives who laid siege.

Therefore, motorists and other road users were advised to ply alternative routes to their destinations to avoid been caught up in the building traffic as a result of several road blockade, especially along Ikorodu Road.

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, led the police team on patrol, while NSCDC Lagos. Commandant, Eweka Okoro, led the corps around strategic areas to prevent any form of gathering by organisers of the rally, spearheaded by Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called “Sunday Igboho.”

This was also sequel to a press statement purportedly, signed by one Olayomi Koiki, dated June 30, 2021, that some individuals have concluded plans to stage a mega rally, in continuation of the secessionist agenda for Oodua Republic, on July 3, 2021, in Lagos.

Some female traditionlists, attired in white accompanied by other protesters chanted “Oduduwa Nation now”, displaying a placard bearing: “Yoruba Nation Now”

As the ladies approached the venue of the rally, they first solicited the cooperation of the policemen before they proceeded but we’re denied a cess in the process.

Reacting to this, the Lagos State Police Command warned that no rally would be allowed, under whatever guise, in any part of the state.

Recall that on Friday, the Lagos State Police Command and other security agencies embarked on show of force around the state to confirm their preparedness and commitment to continuous protection of lives and properties of residents, sending a stern warning signal to the organizers of the said mega rally or any group of persons planning to stage any rally or procession in the state despite the warnings issued during the earlier joint press breifing by Lagos State, CP, Odumosu and the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso.

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The command and the state government had warned the organizers of the planned Oodua Republic Mega Rally, to steer clear of the state, considering the available intelligence reports on the planned rally and the need to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

The command and other security agencies, including the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps and Department of State Services, however, put measures in place to prevent any act of lawlessness, oppression and intimidation of any kind, in the state.

Odumosu stressed that Lagos State can not afford to record and experience the violence orchestrated by some individuals during the 2020 Endsars protest that led to massive destruction of lives and properties in the state.

The command reiterated its stance that anyone caught participating or facilitating the so-called mega rally in Lagos State will be dealt with within the ambits of the law.

Meanwhile, the identified flash points of convergence at Ojota, and other areas such as Ketu and Ogudu were calm as armed security agencies took over the areas, assuring road users and residents of safety as they went about their normal legitimate businesses.

As early as 6.30 am, security personnel were sighted on patrol around the Ikeja area to prevent any breakdown of law and order.

The traffic stretched as far as the Ogolonto area of Ikorodu. Ketu, while some commuters to trekking after spending long hours in traffic.

Pockets of protesters who cares to show up were intercepted and repelled by the overwhelming vigilant armed security personnel.

Some of the motorists, particularly along Ikorodu Road, who spoke to Vanguard lamented their plights, blaming government officials for inflicting pain on residents on the pretext of stopping planned rally in Lagos.

Jelili Abiodun, a motorist, lamented:”I have been trapped in this gridlock for almost three hours from Irawo, in Ikorodu to Ketu here. A journey that should take less than 20 minutes on a normal day. I’m on the way to my place of work on the Island but got stranded for hours in traffic. This is not fair.

“At least the police should keep off the road so as to allow for free movement of vehicles and not to compound the situation afterall the protesters have stayed away.”

Also, a commuter, Wasiu Ayinla, who could not hide his anger over the development, berated the police for being responsible for the already bad traffic situation along Ikorodu Road as a result of security checks and barricaded roads.

Ayinla stated: “They have subjected us to this untold hardship all because they wanted to stop a legitimate rally. People have the right to protest and voice out their grievances, i don’t know they (government) have to do all this to people who are looking for their daily bread.

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