A socio-cultural group, Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF) has condemned the Lagos Police Command for stopping its peace rally and sensitisation motorcade on Friday.
Naija News earlier reported that a combined team of security operatives on Friday took over the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, Lagos over a planned rally by the group.
Security operatives including Police Officers, RRS operatives, Lagos State Task Force and Lagos State Neighborhood Security Watch (LNSC) were stationed at strategic points to prevent any rally.
The Yoruba group had planned a peace rally for Friday but Lagos Police Command had warned the forum against holding any rally in the State, citing an upsurge in COVID-19 infection.
But in a statement on Friday by its National Coordinator, Adeshina Animashaun, the forum said it was not championing Yoruba self-determination and independence.
It noted its objectives and consistent campaigns for peace throughout Yorubaland, the Southwest and all over Nigeria had been misunderstood and misconstrued by the police.
He added that police had also misrepresented YAF to the public as one of those groups claiming to be agitating for the creation of a Yoruba nation and the disintegration of the Nigerian state.
He said that YAF has no affiliation with any individual or groups championing the disintegration and dissolution of Nigeria under the guise of agitating for a Yoruba Nation.
The YAF statement reads: “We are not agitators but peace makers, campaigning to dissuade our youths from threading the destructive path to violence being championed by individuals and groups masquerading as fighters for Yoruba freedom, independence and self-determination.
“We believe in the unity and indivisibility of the Nigerian nation.
“It’s unfortunate that the police misunderstood and misconstrued our peace rally/sensitisation motorcade.
“We want to state here YAF had held this same peace rally/sensitisation motorcade in all the other states in the South-West in the past few months without any record of any untoward occurrence.
“If we were like the other so-called Yoruba groups agitating for the disintegration and dissolution of Nigeria, we wouldn’t have sought permission of the Nigeria Police and the DSS to carry out the peace rally/sensitisation motorcade, and even invite these security agencies to send some of their operatives to the venue to provide adequate security against hoodlums.
“The PPRO has, therefore, woefully failed to separate the wheat from the chaff by his wholesale tagging of YAF as a Yoruba Nation agitator group in his Thursday’s statement. This is unfortunate and unacceptable.”
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