A coalition under the aegis of the Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF), has decried the Police clampdown that stopped it’s planned peace/sensitization rally on Friday, in Lagos
The Lagos State Police Command had stopped the groups planned peace rally/sensitisation Motorcade in protest of the ongoing agitation for an independent Yoruba nation by a section of the Yorubas.
YAF in a statement issued Friday by it’s coordinators, Adeshina Animashaun, expressed regret that the police in the state could not distinguish between it and other groups claiming to be championing Yoruba self-determination and independence with the disguised objective of destabilising the country.
Animashaun regretted that despite the groups objectives and consistent campaigns for peace throughout Yorubaland, the South-West and all over Nigeria, it had been misunderstood and misconstrued by the police, adding that contrary to what the group stands for, the Police has misrepresented it before 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.
The Lagos Police Command had on Thursday, through its Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, issued a statement which warned that the police would deal with YAF members should the group go ahead with today’s scheduled Peace Rally/Sensitisation Motorcade planned to hold at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota.
Animashaun stressed 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.
“Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have bothered to offer any response to the Lagos State Police Command’s stoppage of our planned peace rally/Sensitisation Motorcade earlier scheduled to hold today, Friday, July 16, 2021, at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos, but for the manifest misinformation and misrepresentation contained in a statement on the matter by the state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi.
“Firstly, we have to quickly state that YAF has nothing to do with the Yoruba Nation agitators. We’re a law-abiding coalition of other Yoruba groups under the aegis of Yoruba Appraisal Forum, whose main objective remains peace advocacy throughout Yorubaland and all over Nigeria.
“We want to make it abundantly clear that YAF is not affiliated to any group or individuals promoting or championing the disintegration or dismemberment of the Nigerian Federation.
“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 that 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.
“YAF is, however, not deterred by the current situation. Infact, this police action against us has served to further encourage us not to continue in our call for a United peaceful nation”