A rally organised by some Yoruba nation agitators in the Ojota area of Lagos on Monday, turned violent, with police firing teargas at the protesters.
The Yoruba agitators gathered around the Gani Fawehinmi freedom park, at the Ojota axis for a “mega rally” to demand a separate nation for the Yoruba people of Nigeria.
A less than 30-minute video of the rally showed that the the rally started on a peaceful note, before violence erupted after police operatives fired teargas canisters at the agitators.
In some of the videos that appeared on social media, the agitators and commuters could be seen scampering for safety amid gunshots. Vans that appeared to belong to the police were seen burning in flames. A man was seen on the ground at the secene of the incident.
Banji Akintoye, one of the leaders of Ilana Omo Oodua, who spoke after the incident, alleged that the officers of the Lagos police command killed two agitators during the “peaceful” rally.
“I’m speaking up for the Yoruba nation, especially for young Yoruba people who had gathered in the city of Lagos, this morning, in order to carry out a peaceful rally in support of self-determination for their Yoruba nation,” Akintoye said.
“Their purposes are very clear – self-determination. Their methods have always been clear – peaceful rally, no weapon, no violence of any kind. Those were the conditions that the young men gathered today.
“Before they arrived at the scene where they want to carry out the rally, the Nigerian police approached them and started shooting. Already, we learnt that two young men have been killed as a result of the police fire.”
However, speaking to TheCable, Benjamin Hundeyin, spokesperson of the Lagos police command, said the police did not kill anyone during the rally while accusing the agitators of attacking the police during the “unlawful” gathering.
Hundeyin said someone died during the incident while claiming that police did not have a hand in the death.
“The police did not kill anybody. We had a record of one person dead. They attacked the police and the police retreated. The police were there to disperse the unlawful gathering and they attacked the police,” the Lagos police spokesperson said.
“Somebody died but the police did not kill anybody. Normalcy has returned.”