The planned anti-secession rally by a group, Yoruba Appraisal Forum, (YAF) failed to hold as scheduled on Friday. The organisers failed to show up at the proposed venue.
More than a dozen police vehicles including armoured tanks and water cannon were stationed around the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Ojota, Lagos, ahead of the Friday’s rally.
The Ojota route and surrounding areas witnessed heavy traffic gridlock due to roadblocks mounted at the section leading to the park.
Security operatives including the Special Task Force on Environment, Rapid Response Squad, police officers, and Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps LNSC were present around the vicinity of the park.
The organisers said the rally was postponed after police intervention and the need to curb COVID-19 spread especially with the new variant and the threat of third wave.
The YAF national coordinator, Chief Adesina Animashaun, said: “I met with the Commissioner of Police ( CP Hakeem Odumosu) on Thursday afternoon and the reasons he gave for us to postpone the really are ideal.
”The CP also asked me to sign an undertaking to call off the rally walk to forestall gridlock, a new wave of COVID-19, among others, which I did.
”As a law-abiding citizen, I realised that the reasons given by the CP are ideal.
”However, our sensitisation about the need for one Nigeria is not something we push under the carpet. The rally will eventually hold at a later date that we will decide.”
The Lagos Police Command had warned the forum against holding any rally in the State.
Police spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement, cited security concerns and third wave of COVID-19.
“The Command strongly warns against any rally or mass gathering in any part of Lagos State, as such will be tantamount to jeopardising the security system of the state at this moment and expose the participants of the proposed rally and innocent people of Lagos State to avoidable security infraction, traffic problem, health hazard and other social/economic vices.” the statement partly reads.
The now-postponed rally is coming weeks after Yoruba nation agitators under the Odua Republic umbrella held a rally at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park on July 3, 2021, despite repeated warnings by the police.