Officers of the State Security Service (SSS) on Wednesday stopped a gathering organised by the Yoruba Summit Group in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The group, an amalgamation of sociocultural and self-determination groups in the Southwest including the Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders, Yoruba Koya Movement, Yoruba Unity Forum, Oodua Peoples Congress, Atayese and Voice of Reason, had converged to discuss insecurity in the country and especially in the region.
The summit was billed to take place at the Agodi Government arcade before it was stopped by the secret security outfit.
The security operatives in about five buses and clad in a black uniform had arrived around 7 a.m. and cordoned off the area.
Three people, including the sound system operator engaged for the event, were whisked away to the DSS office at Alesinloye headquarters of the agency.
A public affairs analyst and state coordinator of Oodua Coalition Against Insurgency and Kidnapping in Yorubaland, Tunde Hamzat, and a woman activist simply identified as Princess Oyeronke were among those arrested.
The activists dispersed only to reconvene at another location a few hours later where they addressed a press conference on the state of the nation.
The spokesperson of the Odua Peoples Congress (New Era), Adesina Akinpelu, confirmed the arrest.
“We got all the necessary approval but we were surprised to see men of the SSS arriving much earlier, even before the coalition members, with the intent to stop the rally.”
He said the security officials are still looking for other leaders of the coalition.
Mr Akinpelu said the botched rally was tagged “O to Ge’ to commemorate June 12.
“It was called to address the issue of insecurity in the land and safeguard Yoruba people who are becoming endangered in the land through incessant kidnappings and wanton attacks on their farmlands.
“We don’t want to take laws into our hands and that’s why we called the meeting to drum it to the hearing of Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari, that aside declaring June 12 democracy day, he should also tackle the issue of insecurity in our land.”
PREMIUM TIMES could not get the reaction of the SSS in the state.
An operative told this newspaper that only the headquarters of the agency in Abuja could speak on the arrest.