Two people have been reportedly killed and many, including policemen, injured in a clash that erupted at the venue of a rally organised by Yoruba Nation Agitators (YNA) and policemen at Ojota area of Lagos.
It was learnt that the police had denied the organisers permit for fear of the rally being hijacked by hoodlums.
Trouble started when policemen attempted to disperse the gathering that had converged on Freedom Park. Irked by the move by the police, the group started pelting the policemen with stones, bottles and sachet water.
It was learnt that the first victim was hit by a stray bullet fired by the police. He died on the spot.
The sight of the body of the deceased lying in the middle of the road fueled the crisis as the protesters attempted to attack the Ojota Police Headquarters.
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A policeman attached to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and patrol vehicles were shot at by several pump-action rifle-wielding miscreants.
Kareem Abdullahi, a trader at the popular Ketu market said the protesters set ablaze a black Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and shattered windscreens of vehicles caught in the fracas.
A witness, John Nnamdi, alleged that the crisis was later hijacked by hoodlums from Olusisan dump site at Ojota.
He said the hoodlums, snatched phones, bags, while others looted goods from nearby shops.
“It took the arrival of policemen from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and soldiers attached to OP MESA to disperse the group,” he said.
However, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benjamin Hundeyin, said only one person died, adding that some of the rallying individuals had attacked the police.
Hundeyin in his official Tweeter handle said, “In the early hours of today, miscreants masquerading as Yoruba Nation Agitators came out in their hundreds, disrupting social and commercial activities at Ojota area of the state.
“A team of police officers, comprising Alausa Division and the Raid Respond Squad (RRS) promptly stepped in to disperse the unlawful gathering and prevent a breakdown of law and order. The miscreants attacked the police, shooting, and destroying two vehicles in the process.
“One person has been confirmed dead, while two police officers shot by the miscreants are currently receiving treatment. Four suspects have been arrested and investigations have commenced.
“Meanwhile, normalcy has been restored in the area. Lagosians are urged to go about their lawful businesses as measures have been put in place to prevent further breakdown of law and order, and keen monitoring of the situation continues.
“It is imperative to state unequivocally that the Lagos State Police Command will not allow any person or group of persons, under whatever guise, disrupt the peace currently enjoyed in the state,” he added.
Liberation of Yoruba race inalienable right – Gani Adams
Meanwhile, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, has denied the involvement of members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) in the crisis.
Adams, who is the leader of the OPC, stated this while reacting to the incident in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi.
He, however, said the struggle for the liberation of Yoruba race was an inalienable right of all Yoruba.
“Our position on regionalism is very clear. It is sacrosanct because that is what we are seeking at the moment. Nigeria should be restructured to full regional autonomy, where each region will be at liberty to operate at its own pace,” the statement said.
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