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Yoruba Nation: No regrets participating in invasion, Lecturer, others

Alabi Ogundeji, 55-year-old lecturer at the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, in Oyo State, one of the arrested Yoruba Nation agitators, on Monday, declared that he had no regrets participating in the invasion.

 

Also, a 29-year-old phone repairer, Ademola Adeniyi, who was among the arrested agitators, said he did not regret joining the struggle.

The Yoruba Nation agitators had on Saturday invaded the Oyo State Secretariat, Agodi in Ibadan.

The masked men in army camouflage with rifles and charms were stationed at different locations within the area, a development that sent panic to the residents and road users along the routes.

Security operatives on duty at the Secretariat were unable to disperse the agitators until the arrival of policemen from the State Command and other anti-crime agencies, in conjunction with members of the Nigerian Army, 2 Division, who demobilised them.

Speaking with newsmen separately shortly after their parade, the lecturer, Ogundeji, and the phone repairer, Adeniyi, insisted that their actions were lawful under both Nigerian and international laws.

Ogundeji said, “I’m part of the agitation and I can’t deny it. Yoruba as an indigenous nation is a nation on its own. We have so many nations in Nigeria and Yoruba is one of them.

“Oodua Nation leaders have taken every step and action that needed to be taken. So, we have embarked on the referendum, which was 500 petitions signed by all Yoruba, and this has served as a referendum.

“Our leadership went to all Yoruba-speaking states to serve official letters written by our leaders and we were given our copy. After that is the proclamation, followed by the declaration, occupation, and notification to the world that Yoruba is an indigenous nation.

“We were at the Secretariat, Agodi, in Ibadan, to celebrate and rejoice because of the new nation that was birthed. It is not a new thing that Yoruba is a nation, and we want to stand on our own. We have been together with Nigeria for over 100 years.”

Adeniyi, on his part, said, “We all know that nothing is working in Nigeria and things are hard for everyone, except those in government. We were at the Secretariat waiting for our leader to address us.

“We believe our leader knows much about the law. So, we are not afraid to join when we’re called upon. Our leader told us that all challenges Yoruba are facing shall be addressed if we achieve our aim.”

The Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Hazmat Adebola, on Monday at the state Police Headquarters, Eleyele in Ibadan, paraded the 21 suspected Yoruba Nation agitators who invaded the state Governor’s Office and the House of Assembly, on Saturday morning.

Adebola described the invasion as criminal, unpatriotic and a clear case of treasonable felony and terrorism which would be meted with adequate sanctions.

He said, “As a parent, I enjoin other parents, guardians and leaders in every sphere of political, religious and socioeconomic influence to prevail on their children, wards, proteges and followers against being used by unpatriotic individuals to promote anarchy in the state and, by extension, the nation.

“I would like to use this medium to remind the criminally minded that the state is home to many responsible, hospitable and extremely intelligent individuals who pride themselves in creativity, hard work and resourcefulness.”

He explained that the continued existence of Nigeria as a sovereign indivisible entity was a task that must be done, declaring that “The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain.”

Earlier on Monday, the Oyo State Government described Saturday’s invasion of the state secretariat in Ibadan by self-acclaimed Yoruba Nation agitators as treasonable.

The state Commissioner for information, Dotun Oyelade, who spoke with journalists in Ibadan, condemned the act, adding that there were better ways of agitation other than bloodshed.

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

“Oyo State remains the most peaceful state in Nigeria and Saturday’s incident will not take away that popular belief,” the commissioner said.

Meanwhile, the Corps Commander of Amotekun Corps in Osun State, Brig. Gen. Bashir Adewinmbi (retd), on Monday, warned against any unlawful gathering under the guise of Yoruba Nation agitation in any part of the state.

Adewinbi, while speaking on the preparation of the security organisation to keep the state safe in the wake of fresh Yoruba Nation agitation, also declared that Amotekun would not allow protest by the group in Osun State.

Adewinbi said, “There is nothing like Yoruba Nation agitation here in Osun. Amotekun won’t tolerate any Yoruba Nation protest here. What they are agitating for, we have got it indirectly.

“The President, Senator Bola Tinubu, is a Yoruba man. They are looking for a Yoruba Nation and Nigeria is under a Yoruba man, so Nigeria is a Yoruba Nation now indirectly. They should not create insecurity here. They should not create confusion to distract the President. They should let him face governance.

“God has given him the power and he knows how to use it for the benefit of everyone, not only for Yoruba people alone. Let us give him time. They should forget about the Yoruba Nation agitation for now. There is nothing like that. We don’t need it. Only enemies of progress will join that kind of agitation.”

Those paraded on Monday by the police were Alabi Ogundeji (55);  Adeyemo Oluwaseun (29); Adeyemo Peter (75); Amos Ogundeji (45); Ayanwale Rofiayat, female (25); Olaleye Mathew (54); Fatoki Anthony (34); Muritala Abere (40); Adepoju Ismaila (45); Fatunmbi Wasiu; (30); Isaac Friday (27); Ayanwale Saburi (28); Elegbede Adebola (27); Adedamola Deniyi (29); Ojo Olufemi (52); Ajani Ezekiel (42); Adejumo Lateef (60); Ayoola David (40); Adesokan Hammed (38); Salawudeen Wahab (56) and Ademola Adeniyi (29).

Exhibits recovered, according to CP,  include one English pump-action gun, two locally-made guns, two security jackets, 30 pieces of torch lights, five African horse tails, 49 bells, seven pieces of walkie talkies and accessories, four generators, four megaphones, two 12.5kg gas cylinders, six executive chairs, one green coloured Ford vehicle with registration number AGL 04 YG and one Man ‘O’War ID Card belonging to one Muritala Abere.

Others were two ATM cards, two photographs of one Modupe Abiola-Onitiri, four standing fans and one incomplete Ox standing fan, nine pieces of electric gadgets, two pieces of hand gloves, 261 pieces of belts, 12 Yoruba Nation flags, nine pieces of big photo frames, two big flags of Oodua Nation, 405 live cartridges, 72 pairs of camouflage uniforms, 199 pairs of plain green uniform among others.

 

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