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The Police chief during the parade of the Yoruba Nation agitators in Ibadan, Oyo State capital

Police parade Yoruba nation agitators; Invasion, act of terrorism – Commissioner; Red alert in Ondo

Commissioner of Police in Oyo State , CP Adebola Hamza briefing newsmen while parading the 21 suspected Yoruba nation agitators on Monday at the command's headquarters in Ibadan
Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, CP Adebola Hamza briefing newsmen while parading the 21 suspected Yoruba nation agitators on Monday at the command’s headquarters in Ibadan.

By Suleiman Shehu/David Adeoye, Ibadan/Muftau Ogunyemi, Akure

April 15, 2024

Police in Oyo State are on the trail of sponsors of the Yoruba nation agitators who invaded government secretariat in Ibadan on Saturday.

The agitators invaded the Oyo State House of Assembly complex located inside the secretariat and hoisted their flag there in an attempt to take over the assembly.

Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr. Adebola Hamzat, paraded 21 of the agitators arrested before newsmen in Ibadan on Monday.

Oyo State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Dotun Oyelade, reacting to Saturday’s invasion of the State Secretariat by the armed self-acclaimed Yoruba Nation agitators as an act of terrorism.

Oyelade, on Monday, in Ibadan, condemned the act, saying there are better ways of agitation other than craving for bloodshed.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ondo State Command, has ordered divisional officers and tactical teams to be on red alert and ward off any incursion into the state by the Oodua nation agitators.

NSCDC Commandant in the state, Oluyemi Ibiloye, who stated this at the weekly muster parade where the corps’ operations during the last Eid-el Fitr celebration were reviewed, also ordered the teams to be on standby for other miscreants.

The Oyo State Police Commissioner, Mr. Hamzat, during the parade of the suspects, said some of them had been listing the names of their sponsors and that police had visited some locations within Oyo State where some incriminating items were recovered.

Hamzat recalled that a member of Amotekun Corps (the security network of states in the Southwest) was injured during the invasion just as one of the agitators who resisted arrest got injured in a gun duel with the police.

He stressed that Police were not aware of any death during the incident.

“On Saturday, at about 8:55 a.m., information was received that some men, dressed in military-like camouflage and armed with pump action semi-automatic rifles were sighted on motorcycles around Olomi and moving into Ibadan.

“At about 9:15 a.m., the hoodlums, later known as Yoruba Nation Agitation Group, were trailed to the State Secretariat and to the premises of the governor’s office.

“They hoisted their flag at the House of Assembly, proclaiming the creation of a `Democratic Republic of the Yoruba.

“With police reinforcement, the miscreants were warned to disperse. The agitators turned violent and opened fire on the Police and a detachment of Amotekun Corps present,’’ Hamzat said.

He said the Police responded and were joined by operatives of other security agencies who suppressed the treason.

The police commissioner also told newsmen that five pump action semi-automatic rifles and two wooden double barrel guns and other exhibits were recovered from the agitators.

Also recovered were two jackets, 30 pieces of torch lights, 49 bells, five horse whips, seven pieces of walkie-talkies and accessories, four generators, 72 pairs of camouflage uniforms and 405 live cartridges.

Hamzat described the action of the suspects as criminal, unpatriotic and a clear case of treasonable felony and terrorism to be meted with adequate sanctions through purposeful prosecutions.

He assured that the Police would remain steadfast in the protection of lives and property.

“The continued existence of Nigeria as a sovereign indivisible entity is a task that must be accomplished.

“The labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain. Police in Oyo State will be unrelenting in ensuring the continued united corporate existence of Nigeria as a country,’’ Hamzat stressed.

Speaking with newsmen, one of the suspects said he had no regret for his action and that the action was not treasonable.

He argued that the action of the agitators was legal and that their sponsors had documents stating that the UN and ECOWAS had given recognition to Yoruba nation’s existence.

Another suspect said the agitators were promised jobs and good conditions of living if Yoruba nation became a reality.

 Mr. Dotun Oyelade cited the conduct of Prof. Banji Akintoye, a well known Yoruba Nation agitator, as representing the quintessential wisdom and civilisation of the Yoruba race.

“Attempting to barge into the hallowed chambers of the legislature and take it over with an arsenal of seven pump action submachine guns, over 700 live cartridges, is clearly an act of terrorism,” he said.

The commissioner disclosed that sponsors of Saturday’s invasion of the governor’s office and the State House of Assembly have succeeded in leading the arrested suspects into serious trouble.

He reiterated that Oyo State remains the most peaceful state in Nigeria, adding that the incident on Saturday has not changed the serenity and peaceful atmosphere in the state.

According to Oyelade, normalcy has since returned to Ibadan, the state capital and residents are going about their normal duties.

The Ondo State NSCDC Commandant, Mr. Ibiloye, in his statement made available to newsmen by the command’s Spokesperson, Aidamenbor Daniel on Monday in Akure, also admonished the Command’s officers to take positive posture toward their job.

He reminded the officers and men of the corps of the ongoing political activities within the state and the need to be professional and apolitical in their operations.

“The intelligence department, armed squad, counter terrorism unit, rapid response squad and operations are to be on red alert to ensure that the security breach that took place in Oyo State does not happen in Ondo State,” he said.

According to him, this has become imperative especially now that various political parties are having their rallies in the state, with mixed crowds in attendance.

“The command wishes to reiterate its commitment to safeguarding lives and properties, and ensuring the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure.

“We would do all within the ambits of the law to ensure the safety of all good and law-abiding citizens of Ondo State.

“For quick intervention and actionable intelligence sharing, the command’s quick response lines 08034027234, 08037871044 and 08032797388 are open for public use,” Ibiloye said.

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