Friday, February 23, 2024

Panic in Osun over threat by ‘Yoruba Nation’ agitators

There was a noticeable presence of police operatives at some strategic locations in Osogbo, Osun State capital, on Monday, following a violent attempt to seize a radio station in Ibadan by some agitators for the ‘Yoruba Nation’.

Heavy police presence was noticed around Osogbo at Ota Efun Motor Park, near Old Garage Motor Park, and Olaiya junction.

The State Police Command had in a statement said security measures had been put in place to forestall any breakdown of law and order owing to happening in a neighbouring state concerning the ‘Yoruba Nation’ agitation.

The spokesperson for the command, Yemisi Opalola, in the statement further said, “The Osun State Police Command is using this medium to assure the general public especially the media houses of adequate security measures put in place to forestall any breakdown of law and order in the state as the Police Command is aware of what is happening in our neighbouring state concerning the ‘Yoruba Nation’ agitators who attempted to hijack one radio station in the early hours of May 29, 2023.

“At the same time, police command is using the same medium to warn all disgruntled elements that may have the mind of truncating the democratic process of transition of power to jettison the idea forthwith as security agencies will use all legal means to uphold the Democratic process in the state and in Nigeria as a whole.”

On the deployment of police operatives to motor parks and other locations, Opalola said the measure was to underscore the readiness of the force to prevent any form of agitation that can disrupt public peace.

She further said, “It is to show our readiness to prevent the breakdown of law and order in the state. We specifically made the deployment to those places you observed to prevent Yoruba nation agitators from disrupting the peace of the state.”

Some Yoruba Nation agitators, on Sunday morning, seized Radio Nigeria, Amuludun FM 99.1 airwaves in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for more than one hour.

The agitators, who besieged the station around 5:40am in an 18-seater bus, were armed with weapons and charms, threatening to deal decisively with any staff member who refused to cooperate with them.

However, four out of the agitators, among whom was a woman, were arrested by the police with the assistance of the Nigerian Army, while others ran into different directions to evade arrest.

It was gathered that some of them sustained gunshot injuries, as blood stains were seen in the studio.

It was learnt that after holding some night duty staff and security guards hostage, the agitators hijacked the studio and announced live on radio, saying welcome to “Yoruba Nation.”

An impeccable source further said they continued threatening staff members to remove all Nigeria flags in the station and replace them with Yoruba Nation flags as they had already taken over the Government Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.

It was further learnt that they initially hijacked some commercial vehicles (Micra) to block the main road.

Meanwhile, the leader of Ilana Omo Oodua, which is championing the Yoruba Nation, Emeritus Prof. Banji Akintoye, distanced himself from the radio station hijack, which he described as criminal.

In a release issued by his Assistant Director of Programmes, Olatunde Amusat, Akintoye said, “We have no relationship whatsoever with the group that has repeatedly engaged in crime and we have no hands in their criminal conduct.”

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