Nigeria: Amotekun - Police Block Solidarity Rally in Lagos

21 January 2020

The police in Lagos have sabotaged the solidarity walk in support of the Amotekun security initiative that was scheduled to hold at Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota on Tuesday.

Supporters of the initiative, who marched in their numbers to the proposed venue at about 9 am, were denied access into the park.

Not less than 10 police vehicles and 30 armed officers were stationed at the park, denying the supporters entrance.

The police had earlier dispersed the supporters of the operation, before they reconvened at the entrance of the park.

Amotekun is a security outfit launched on January 9, by South West governors to protect the people of the region.

Since its launch, there have been different opinions about the constitutionality of the operation. The initiative has also received support and opposition from many notable Nigerians.

Some of the Ametokun protesters in Lagos

The coordinator of the Amotekun rally in Lagos, George Akinola, said payment was made for the venue and there was a confirmation from the police to use the venue, only to see officers in their number barring them from gaining access.

Mr Akinola said Amotekun is a protective force set up to work with the police and other security agencies to protect the Yoruba land, its people and properties from killers, robbers, ritualists and terrorists.

"We have rights to gather and associate peacefully, our voices must be heard which is the voice of Amotekun. We have the right to protect our lives and properties," he added.

"Nobody knows the land like the land owner, no one knows the bushes like the Indigenes, we are saying we are the only ones that can work with the police to fish out killer forces, Amotekun will stand," he said.

Some of the Ametokun protesters in Lagos

Maxwell Adeleye, a member of the organising committee for the rally, said it was unfortunate to see how the police reacted to the peaceful rally.

"There are security outfits in many states, and why is Amotekun different? Why are they afraid," he said.

Mr Adeleye said the operation has come to stay and there will be neither retreat nor surrender until the mission is achieved.

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