… cause gridlock on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ketu area
As part of its efforts to stop the Yoruba Nation mega rally scheduled for Lagos today, the police in the state embarked on thorough search of vehicles, particularly passenger buses entering Lagos through the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The search for the agitators by armed policemen and other security agents, however, resulted in delays and gridlock on the Expressway, with the traffic jam stretching to as far as Ketu.
The gridlock created by the action of the security agencies resulted in many commuters alighting and trekking long distances.
Heavy traffic jam was observed on the Expressway in-bound Lagos, resulting in several minutes of delay.
Policemen and other security operatives also mounted roadblocks on the expressway, limiting the numbers of vehicles entering Lagos.
As a result, the number of vehicles entering Lagos from neighbouring Ogun State were drastically reduced.
Around Ketu, close to the Gani Fawehinmi Park venue of the botched Yoruba Nation mega rally, heavily armed security operatives also searched vehicles.
The security operatives also blocked the routes to the venue of the protest with Armoured Personnel Carriers and other vehicles.
Some other APCs and other military vehicles were strategically positioned around the area.
The policemen and other security agents searching the vehicles were said to also be asking for posters and banners of the organisers of the botched mega rally.
Some of passengers were also searched and asked if they possessed any weapon.
The security agents also the passengers for their take-off points and destination.
Many vehicles plying the roads were diverted to another route by the security operatives.
Early Saturday, heavily armed policemen and soldiers had taken over the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos, to prevent the planned Yoruba Nation mega from holding.
Fierce-looking armed policemen and soldiers attached to OP MESSA were seen patrolling in vans and armoured vehicles around the Park the rally was scheduled to hold.
This prevented any of the agitators from showing up at the venue.
Police in the state had in separate statements, on Thursday and Friday, warned the agitators to steer clear of Lagos on Saturday for the mega rally.
But the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, had insisted in a statement on Friday that the scheduled pro-Yoruba Nation rally would hold on Saturday in Lagos as planned.
The statement made signed by the group’s spokesperson, Mr Maxwell Adeleye, was titled, “Yoruba Nation’s Rally To Hold Tomorrow in Lagos – Ilana Omo Oodua … Writes Sanwoolu, Odumosu, Says “It is the duty of Police to ensure the rally is not hijacked by hoodlums”.
But the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had warned at a press conference on Thursday and reiterated in a statement on Friday, “On no account will any actual or rumoured activity, including the planned mega rally, be allowed to lock down the state or hinder the normal daily activities of the good people of Lagos State.”