Men of the Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday stopped a mass rally organised by the Yoruba Summit Group in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
The group, an amalgamation of some sociocultural and self determination groups in Yorubaland such as Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders, Yoruba Koya Movement, Yoruba Unity Forum, Oodua Peoples Congress, Atayese and Voice of Reason, had converged to discuss the insecurity in the country especially the South West region.
The summit was billed to take place at the Agodi Government arcade before it was stopped by the secret security outfit.
DAILY POST gathered that security operatives in about five buses and clad in their black uniform, arrived the venue around 7am and condoned off the area to ward off the rally.
Three people including the sound system operator contracted to provide services at the event, were whisked away to the State headquarters of DSS at Alesinloye in Ibadan.
A public affairs analyst and state coordinator of Oodua Coalition Against Insurgency and Kidnapping in Yorubaland, Dr. Tunde Hamzat and another lady activist, simply identified as Princess Oyeronke, were among those arrested.
But in order 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.
National Public Relations Officer of the Odua Peoples Congress (New Era), Comrade Adesina Akinpelu, who confirmed the arrest, decried the development he likened to 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 look out 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.
He disclosed that all entreaties by leaders of the Yoruba Summit Group fell on deaf ears of the security operatives who claimed to be acting on “orders from above”.