Three activists working under a Yoruba socio- cultural group, Oodua Coalition Against Insurgency and Kidnapping in Yorubaland, have been arrested and detained by men of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) after dispersing the June 12 rally in Ibadan on Wednesday.
Scores of people arrived the venue of the planned rally early morning but were shocked as security operatives chased them, stopping the mass rally.
The group, an amalgamation of all sociocultural and self- determination groups in Yorubaland, had converged to discuss insecurity in the land, an event which they also want to use to celebrate the June 12 in the city.
The security operatives, in about five buses and clad in their black uniform, had arrived around 7am and condoned off the area, to wade off the rally.
Three people including sound system operator contracted to provide services at the event, were whisked away to the DSS office at Alesinloye headquarter of the service.
A public Affairs analyst and state coordinator of Oodua Coalition Against Insurgency and Kidnapping in Yorubaland and another lady activist simply identified as Princess Oyeronke were also arrested.
Confirming the arrests, the National Public Relations Officer of the Odua People’s Congress (New Era), Comrade Adesina Akinpelu, decried the development he likened to the infamous happenstances during the military junta.
Akinpelu said: “We got all the necessary approval but we were surprised to see men of the DSS arriving much earlier, even before the coalition members, with the intent to stop the rally.”
He alleged further that the officials are still on the lookout for other notable leaders of the coalition for possible arrest and detention.
Akinpelu said the botched rally was tagged “O to Ge’ to commemorate June 12.
“It was called to address the issue of insecurity in the land and safeguard Yoruba people who are becoming endangered in the land through incessant kidnappings and wanton attacks on their farmlands.”
“We don’t want to take laws into our hands and that’s why we called the meeting to drum it to the hearing of Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari that aside declaring June 12 democracy day, he should also tackle the issue of insecurity in our land.”
He said all entreaties by leaders of the Yoruba Summit Group comprising representatives of Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders, Yoruba Koya Movement, Yoruba Unity Forum, Oodua Peoples Congress, Atayese and Voice of Reason, among others, fell on deaf ears of the security operatives who claimed to be acting on “orders from above”.
To prevent what could escalate into crisis, leaders of the various rallying groups prevailed on their followers not to overstretch the issue just as they dispersed only to reconvene at another location few hours later where they addressed a press conference on the state of the nation. [THE NATION]