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‘We Are Not Terrorists’: Yoruba Nation Agitators Arrested in Oyo Stand Firm

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IBADAN, Nigeria – A lecturer and a phone repairer, among the 20 arrested following an incursion at the Oyo State Governor’s Office and the state House of Assembly, expressed no regrets about their actions, defending them as lawful under both Nigerian and international laws.

The incident, which occurred early Saturday, April 13, 2024, involved masked individuals in military attire, suspected to be Yoruba Nation agitators.

The police swiftly responded, leading to multiple arrests.

Alabi Ogundeji, 55, a lecturer at the Federal College of Education (Special) and one of the detained, articulated his unyielding stance.

“I’m part of the agitation and I can’t deny it,” Ogundeji stated.

Ogundeji, further, explained the group’s actions as part of a larger movement to establish Yoruba as an independent nation, detailing steps like petitions and official communications across Yoruba-speaking states.

Ademola Adeniyi, 29, a phone repairer, also among the detained, echoed this sentiment.

He cited dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in Nigeria, particularly for those outside government positions.

“We were at the secretariat waiting for our leader to address us,” Adeniyi shared, signaling his trust in the leadership’s knowledge of legal frameworks supporting their cause.

During their parade by the police at the state Police Command in Eleyele, Ibadan, the state capital, Police Commissioner Hamzat Adebola labeled the act as criminal, unpatriotic, and tantamount to treasonable felony and terrorism.

The police boss also emphasised the importance of maintaining Nigeria’s sovereignty and the peace of Oyo State.

Adebola called on parents, guardians, and community leaders to guide the youth against such actions and vowed to uphold the state’s tranquility against threats of unrest.

The event has stirred discussions about the rights to protest and self-determination under national and international law, with the local community and authorities bracing for potential further developments.

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