Ojota clash: Yoruba Nation agitators, police trade blames
The fracas in Ojota left at least one person dead, two policemen injured and some vehicles damaged, during the protest by agitators for the Yoruba nation.
The pro-Yoruba separatist group and the police are now pointing accusing fingers at each other over who provoked the clash.
For years, promoters of the Yoruba nation campaign have been demanding a separate state from Nigeria, a move that has met resistance from both the government of Nigeria and some citizens.
According to the agitators, the police provoked the clash after its men tried to disperse the rally and the agitators refused to heed. Some eyewitnesses said this caused the police officers to use tear gas to disperse the agitators as they had started disrupting the smooth flow of traffic on the Ikorodu Road-Ojota axis.
Benjamin Hundeyin, the Lagos state police command public relations officer who commented on the clash said, “’ In the early hours of today, miscreants masquerading as Yoruba Nation Agitators came out in their hundreds, disrupting social and commercial activities in the Ojota area of the State,’’ he said.
“The miscreants attacked the police, shooting, and destroyed 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.”
The Police PRO also stated that normalcy returned to the area after the deployment of additional law enforcement agents to ensure peace and safety.
Hundeyin also claimed that the Yoruba nation agitators who came out to disrupt normal activities in the area didn’t inform the police that they wanted to hold a rally, and denied officers provoked the agitators. Instead, he said it was the agitators who attacked the police and shot at two police officers.
The former leader of Yoruba nation agitators Prof Banji Akintoye has in the meantime reacted to the incident, claiming that two agitators were killed in the incident. He accused the police force of attacking innocent people who have the right to agitate. He described the Yoruba nation agitators as law-abiding who carry out their rallies peacefully without weapons and violence.