News

April 16, 2024

Oyo invasion: Yoruba Nation sponsors promised to end my hunger —Female suspect

Oyo invasion: Yoruba Nation sponsors promised to end my hunger —Female suspect

•We don’t regret our actions —Defiant suspects

•Local security outfit discovers hideouts •

•Invasion is treasonable —Oyo govt

By Dapo Akinrefon, Laolu Elijah & Dickson Omobola

IBADAN—ONE of thesuspects, who was among Yoruba Nation agitators that invaded the Oyo State House of Assembly and Governor’s office, on Saturday, Ayanwale Rofiayat, yesterday, disclosed that those who sponsored the invasion, promised to put an end to starvation in her life.


This came as the Oyo State Government, yesterday, described the invasion as treasonable.


Recall that some self-acclaimed Yoruba Nation agitators hoisted their flag on the building housing the state House of Assembly last Saturday.


The woman suspect was among other 20 suspects paraded by the Oyo State Police Command, Eleyele in Ibadan.


Other items were displayed by the police. They include two security jackets, 30 pieces of torchlights, 49 bells, 5 horse tails, 7 pieces of walkie-talkies, two photographs of Modupe Onitiri Abiola, 261 belts, 12 Yoruba Nation flags, one Oodua Nation coat of arms, 405 live cartridges, 72 pairs of camouflage uniforms and others.


Speaking while being paraded, Rofiat said: “I’m from Igbo Ora in the Ibarapa zone of the state. The sponsors promised me and my entire family that they would empower us and that our future would be assured. Starvation would no longer be in our lives and that cost of living would automatically come down.”


She explained where they got the foreign military camouflage from saying, “The Army camouflage attire on me was given to me and other members when we converged on Ibadan before moving to the Secretariat.”


Another suspect, Mr Alabi Ogundeji, who is a 55-year-old lecturer at a Federal College of Education, said the membership of the Yoruba movement is spread across all Yoruba-speaking states.
Ogundeji said: “Our leaders went to all Yoruba-speaking states to serve officials letters written and we were given our copies.


“Then the proclamation was made and after the declaration, occupation, and notification to the world that Yoruba is an indigenous nation.”

We don’t regret ouractions—Defiant suspects


On his part, a 29-year-old phone repairer, Ademola Adeniyi, was defiant saying he didn’t regret his action.
Adeniyi said: “We all know that nothing is working in Nigeria and things are hard for everyone except those in government, we were at the Secretariat waiting for our leader to come and address us.


“We believe our leader knows much about the law and so we are not afraid to join when we were called upon. Our leaders told us that all challenges Yoruba are facing shall be addressed if we achieve our aim.”


Also, a septuagenarian, who was among the suspects, Mr Peter Adeyemo, had denied being a member noting that, he and his daughter went to Itamerin Market to buy some items and on their way back, they saw people gathered and inquired from a policeman, but was later rough-handled and arrested.


On the charms and amulets found on his body, Adeyemo, a furniture carpenter from Iwere Ile in the Ibarapa zone of Oyo State, admitted that he and his daughter were given some insignias including a flag found in possession of the daughter.

It’s a treasonable felony —Oyo CP


While parading the suspects, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Adebola Hamzat said: “On Saturday, 13/04/2024 at about 0855hrs, information was received that some men dressed in military-like camouflage, armed with pump action semi-automatic rifles, riding on motorcycles, were sighted moving into the main city from Olomi axis of Ibadan.


“At about 0915hrs, the hoodlums, later known as Yoruba Nation Agitation Group, were trailed to the State Secretariat, spreading from the Flyover to within the Premises of the Governor’s Office, and hoisted their Flag at the House of Assembly, proclaiming the creation of a democratic republic of the Yoruba.


“With Police re-inforcement, the miscreants were warned to dispatch. The agitators turned violent and opened fire on the Police and a detachment of Amotekun corps was present. The Police responded and were joined by Operation Burst Patrol teams and Personnel of other security agencies who suppressed the treason and dealt with the agitators in line with Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).


“A total of 21 Suspects were arrested, seven rifles made up of five English Pump Action semi-automatic rifles, two wooden double-barreled guns and other items of exhibits as displayed, were recovered.


“While declaring this act as criminal, unpatriotic and a clear case of treasonable felony and terrorism to be meted with adequate sanctions through purposeful prosecutions, the Command re-assures the good people of Oyo State that it remains solidly unwavering to the protection of their lives and property as constitutionally required by the laws of the land.”

Local security outfit discovers hideouts


Meanwhile, a local security outfit, Oluyole Security Surveillance Team, OSST, said it has uncovered another hideout of Yoruba nation agitators.


The hideout is located around the Fatusi and Shagari areas of the Oluyole Local Government Area of the state.


Some items which were allegedly recovered from the agitators included military camouflage, bulletproof jackets, Torch Lights, Generators, Megaphones, and Standing Fans amongst other items.

Makinde commends security agencies for keeping peace in Oyo


Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, commended the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for keeping the peace in the state.


Governor Makinde stated this when he received the 46th General Officer Commanding the 2 Mechanised Division, Odogbo Barracks, Ibadan, Maj. Gen. Obinna Onubogu, at the Governor’s Office, Secretariat in Ibadan.


The governor, who seized the occasion to throw light on the invasion of the Government Secretariat last Saturday by suspected Yoruba Nation agitators, explained how the effective security system in the state was able to bring the aggressors to their knees in no time.


Makinde said: “On what happened on Saturday, the Emergency Security Response was activated and it worked. The response was quick, and timely and I believe the hoodlums and miscreants met something that was beyond their imagination. Within one hour, everything was under control.


“Everybody responded timely and we are grateful for the timely response.


“Concerning the unfortunate incident, what I can say is that we must win the war but we must also win peace. It is a challenging period.”


Speaking earlier, Maj. Gen. Onubogu said: “We are indeed in a period of security challenges and I want to commiserate with you and the good people of Oyo State over the invasion of the Secretariat by some self-acclaimed, irredentists on April 13, 2024.

“This incident is unfortunate as it shows that despite the peace that exists in Oyo State, there are still sons and daughters of South-West Nigeria who are bent on challenging Oyo State, the entire South-West as well as Nigeria as a whole.


“I have taken note of some of the gaps that preceded this incident and I want to assure you that under my watch, we will play our part to ensure that such a situation does not arise again.


“As our adversaries have made their intentions known, it will be foolhardy for us not to refocus and ensure the people of Oyo remain safe.”

Invasion is treasonable — Oyo govt


Also reacting to the invasion, the Oyo State government described it as treasonable.


Addressing newsmen, the Commissioner for Information, Prince Dotun Oyelade, who condemned the act said there are better ways of agitation other than craving for bloodshed.


Oyelade said: “Attempting to barge into the hallowed chambers of the legislature and take it over with an arsenal of seven pump action submachine guns, over 700 live cartridges, is an act of terrorism.”


The commissioner further disclosed that sponsors of Saturday’s invasion had succeeded in leading them into serious trouble.

Treat invaders as coupists, YCE tells FG


Similarly, the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, has described the invasion of the Oyo State House of Assembly and State Secretariat as a coup just as it insisted that those involved in the act should be treated as coupists and punished accordingly.


Reacting to the invasion, Secretary-General of the YCE, Chief Oladipo Oyewole, said the elders condemned the act adding that the Federal Government should fish out perpetrators of the act.
Oyewole said: “The ill-fated mission of misguided persons in Military Camouflage/outfit to the Oyo State Government Secretariat Ibadan is bad.


“The Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, condemn this unlawful invasion in its entirety.


“Unequivocally, we stand to say that the nauseating act is a coup d’etat. It is barbaric and unwarranted. From reports and analysis, it is an ill-conceived action which was dead on arrival.


“We are of the position, in line with the laws of Nigeria, that all the people involved should be treated as coupists and punished accordingly.


“Yoruba land and our inherited culture abhor violence.


“The Yoruba man, because of his Omoluwabi ethos, would maintain decorum and dialogue rather than take part in any forceful takeover.


“The Federal Government of Nigeria should, without delay, deploy its apparatus to fish out parties involved in the dastardly act by all means and mete out judgement commensurate with this dastardly act.


“Going by all indicators, Nigeria is ready for take-off to prosperity through proper planning and application of rules of engagement that will give our nation, the cutting edge we earnestly desire and deserve for our comfort and mutual prosperity. We condemn this unfortunate act in all ramifications.”

Invasion is act of treason —Bode George


Also joining in condemning the invasion by the Yoruba Nation agitators, former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Bode George, yesterday, described the invasion in Oyo State as an act of treason.


Speaking in an interview on Arise Television, George said: “You don’t just go and take up arms against your government, it is treason. That they called Amotekun and the police is something; if it were people from my old profession, they would have seen them as enemies and fired at them.


“I was completely very angry because that is not the way you talk to your government. What could have driven them into that? My conclusion is that they might not be educated. You don’t take up arms against your nation.


“It’s unimaginable; you brought guns and charms; were they dreaming? It’s unacceptable; it’s the highest breaking of the law of the land. You have your freedom of speech which is the most sensible way to approach this problem. The problem is that this thing never leaked to the intelligence of this nation.


“Agitators carried their weapons in military uniforms, and nobody stopped them on the road; you now see the urgent need for state police because they could not have been meeting somewhere if we are well organized like the state police.”

Abiola’s son slams Onitiri-Abiola for instigating invasion


On his part, the Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties in the Office of the Vice-President, Mr Jamiu Abiola, yesterday, faulted the invasion of Oyo State House of Assembly and the Governor’s Office by suspected Yoruba nation agitators.


Abiola, in a chat with Vanguard, also said it was sad that a woman connected with his father, the late Moshood Abiola, could have declared the South-West region a Democratic Republic of Yoruba Nation, stressing that her call for secession was against all that MKO was known for.


His words: “I have never met her and I don’t think that she told members of the Abiola family because the family members I spoke to are furious about this. They are shocked. Our family patriarch, Chief Moshood Abiola, was well known for his strong belief in Nigeria’s unity and that was why it was easy for him to convince Nigerians from all regions to give him their votes.


“It is sad that a woman bearing his name could have made such a declaration, particularly now that the Nigerian President, Senator Bola Tinubu, is a Yoruba man who is doing a lot of what my father had wanted to do as Nigeria’s President.


“By doing that, we would be giving her declaration more attention than it deserves. We will ignore her just like most Nigerians have done.”

We’re not terrorists, youth group tells Ondo govt


Meanwhile, a group of Yoruba Nation Youths, both Home and Diaspora, yesterday, insisted that they are not terrorists but a legitimate group of youths demanding Yoruba Nation, self-determination and independence.