More than a dozen police vehicles including armoured tanks and water cannon have been stationed around the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Ojota, Lagos, ahead of Friday’s Yoruba Appraisal Forum rally.
Security operatives including the task force, Rapid Response Squad, police officers and Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps LNSC are present around the vicinity of the park.
The security operatives also barricaded the road leading to Oworonsoki.
According to a statement signed by the police spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on Thursday, the planned rally was scheduled for Friday at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos, by 9 am.
However, the police command had warned organisers of the Yoruba Appraisal Forum against any gathering that might lead to the breakdown of law and order in the state.
On Thursday, the police said the security operatives have been placed on red alert to prevent unlawful rally and lawlessness in the state.
Mr Adejobi said the rally ,if allowed to take place, might spark a third wave of the covid-19 pandemic.
“As a tradition, the Command has painstakingly carried out threat analysis and gathered intelligence on the proposed rally which has been considered ill-timed due to a number of security and health-related dangers it portends on Lagos State,” he said.
“It would be recalled that the Lagos State Government has just announced the emergence of the Delta variance of COVID-19 pandemic in the State and increased number of COVID-19 cases recorded has forced the University of Lagos to shut down while others live in the fears of the new deadly variant.
“This singular health-related reason is enough to halt the rally as it will trigger and spread the pandemic in the state.”
Mr Adejobi added that the planned rally at the Ojota area of the state will “definitely compound the traffic situation in the state due to the ongoing road rehabilitation in the area, as well as the upsurge in the movement of people in and out of Lagos because of the forthcoming Eid-Kabir.
“The spill over effects of the heavy traffic on a feeder or adjoining routes to Ojota might open a corridor for miscreants to swiftly attack and rob unsuspecting road users in traffic,” he said.
He said that there is a high tendency that the rally will be hijacked by miscreants which will be risky for the organisers and safety of residents in the state.
The superintendent of police also recalled how the peaceful EndSARS protests were hijacked in 2020 and the Yoruba nation rally while noting that gathering tantamount to ” jeopardising the security system of the state at this moment and expose the participants of the proposed rally and innocent people of Lagos State to avoidable security infractions, traffic problems, health hazards and other social/economic vices” will not be tolerated.
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