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#YorubaNationNow trends on Twitter as secessionists defy police

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Despite the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, agitators for an independent Yoruba nation moved their campaign to the social media platform on Saturday as many others defy police to hold a physical rally in Lagos on Saturday.

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Days before, the leader of the secessionist group Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, was declared wanted by Nigeria’s secret police.

The Department of State Services also paraded 13 persons arrested at Igboho’s Ibadan home during an early morning raid on Thursday. Two persons were killed during the raid.

On Friday, police in Lagos insisted it would not allow the protest planned by Sunday Igboho’s group to hold. Lagos police boss Hakeem Odumosu said he feared the rally could degenerate into the sort of violence the state saw in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests against police brutality last October.

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“Lagos cannot afford to experience any form of breakdown of law and order and threat to public peace at the moment,” Odumosu said at a press conference on Thursday.

“Considering the negative effects of the 2020 #EndSARS crisis that led to massive destruction of public and private facilities, we would not tolerate any breach of security in the State. The Lagos State Police Command hereby declares that no rally will be allowed, under whatever guise, in any part of the State.”

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But hundreds of agitators, including traditionalists, still thronged Ojota on Saturday to call for the independence of the Yoruba nation.

Multiple eyewitnesses said a girl was hit by a bullet as police tried to disperse people from holding the rally.

Support for the secession call was also heard on Twitter with many tweeting #YorubaNationNow.

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