By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Ilana Omo Oodua, on Friday described the threat by the Ogun State Police Command of the Nigeria Police Force to stop its the Pro-Yoruba Nation’s Rally in Abeokuta on Saturday, May 1 as a joke
In a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan, apex body of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, declared that there will be no going back on the planned Pro-Yoruba nation’s Rally and that any attempt to stop the peaceful rally shall be “challenged logically, legally and Internationally,
Ilana Omo Oodua in the statement signed its Media and Communications Secretary, Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleke pointed out that the attempt to stop therally would be regarded as ” declaration of war against the constitutional rights of the Yoruba people for self-determination, peaceful assembly and speech,”.
While promising to be peaceful, lawful and make decorum its watchword throughout the duration of rally tomorrow, the Prof Banji Akintoye led group asked organisations such as the Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR), International Press Council (IPC), Socio – Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) and all local and international media organisations ” to attend the rally as observers”.
The body stated that the claim by the Ogun State Police command that previous rallies organised by the organisation were violent, was “an absolute mendacity, and a fallacious attempt to paint the organisation in a bad light.”, adding, “we at Ilana Omo Oodua considers the statement as a declaration of war against our rights to self-determination, peaceful assembly and speech as guaranteed by the United Nations and African Union Charters on Human Rights which Nigeria is a signatory to”
“We read with total disbelief, a statement credited to the Ogun State Police Command that our Pro-Yoruba nation Nation’s rally scheduled to hold in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital tomorrow will not be allowed to hold. We want to believe the statement of the police is a joke However, if the Police was serious about the threat, we want to let the the authorities in Ogun State know that our rally will go ahead as scheduled because the police have no power under the law to deny us of our rights to self-determination and peaceful assembly”, it said
Ilana Omo Oodua added, “we want to assure the police that we shall hold our demonstration very peacefully, lawfully and orderly tomorrow, and we warn that any attempt to stop the rally shall be challenged legally, logically and Internationally. Moreso, we say, for the sake of those who may have been cajoled by the claims of the Police that previous Pro-Yoruba Nation’s rallies in Ogun State were violent and disturbed the peace of the state, that Ilana Omo Oodua, under the leadership of Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye, has never been violent in its approach, and the facts are out there already”.
“To assure the police that we are indeed peaceful, and we shall continue to be peaceful, lawful and orderly, we hereby use this opportunity to invite organisations such as the Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), Nigerian Bar ASSOCIATION, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR), International Press Council, Socio – Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP), all local and international media organisations to attend the rally tomorrow as observers”