62nd Independence Anniversary: Nigeria On Lockdown For Peter Obi
OpenLife Nigeria reports that youths loyal to the presidential aspiration of the 2023 candidate of Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi, on October 1, 2022, practically locked down Nigeria with their solidarity marches across major towns and cities in the country.
Nigeria marked its 62nd independence anniversary on October 1.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in his nationwide broadcast sued for citizens’ understanding and patriotism with a promise to deploy the best of administration for a better Nigeria in his remaining days in office.
However, ahead of the rally by supporters of Labour Party in the Lekki area of Lagos State, Lagos State Police Command on Friday took over the Lekki Tollgate on Lekki-Epe Expressway.
The Police had embarked on a show of force exercise around the tollgate with men of the Rapid Response Squad and Lagos State Taskforce.
The deployment of armed policemen came after a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State on Wednesday, ordered the Labour Party and its supporters not to converge on the Lekki Toll-Gate for its planned rally for the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi on October 1, 2022.
Spokesperson of the Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin in one of his tweets said, “In continuation of its routine convoy patrol of the metropolis as directed by the Lagos Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi, Commander RRS, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi is presently leading RRS team and Lagos Taskforce on convoy patrol of the city.
In a statement, Hundeyin said no form of rally whatsoever will be allowed at the Lekki Toll gate on Saturday, October 1, 2022.
He said, “this emphasis has become necessary to enlighten Nigerians that might be misled into converging on the toll gate. A court of competent jurisdiction has ruled that no person is allowed to converge on the Lekki Toll gate for whatever reason.
“In conformity with its mandate to protect life and property, the Lagos State Police Command under the leadership of CP Abiodun Alabi, will leave no stone unturned in ensuring total compliance with the court order and an emplacement of adequate security in the state.
“While the Command is not averse to the peoples’ right to freedom of assembly and association; and expression, the Command will equally live up to its mandate of ensuring that no person or group of persons is allowed to infringe on the fundamental human rights of others, especially the rights to freedom of movement and right to dignity of human persons, especially under the guise of rally or procession.
“The warning, therefore, goes that anyone found flouting the court order or infringing on the rights of other Nigerians will be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
Meanwhile, a coalition of support groups, in Lagos under the aegis of Take Back Naija, (TBN), said the march is legal, constitutional and within the electoral time frame and calendar released by INEC and all security agencies have been duly and formally informed using the appropriate means.
The group Central Organizing Committee disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos, stating that the Take-Back Naija ObiDatti march would be held simultaneously in three different locations in the Lagos metropolis namely: Admiralty gate, Lekki Phase 1; Archbishop Vining Memorial Church, GRA, Ikeja; and at Federal Housing Authority, (FHA) Festac, field on 23 roads Festac.
The Coordinator of the group, Martins Udegbunam said that the rally would be held in Lekki, Admiralty Way but not at the toll gate. “We are law-abiding Nigerians and the movement is to vote for a credible Nigeria, a person who we believe has what it takes to fix Nigeria”.
Udegbunam added that bad governance is synonymous with Nigerian leadership. “We are advocating for better leadership and a new Nigeria, which is why we have created the structure to support the ObiDatti movement.
“We want to sack the old politicians for a new crop of youthful leadership to emerge. It’s not their birthright. It is a contract. After four years, if they cannot perform, we sack them. Field officers are working to ensure that the event is a huge success. We decided to do this on Nigeria’s Independence Day to re-affirmed our commitment to a better Nigeria.”
The Third Force Movement has appealed to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to approve the car park of the National Stadium Lagos, for the October 1 rally of supporters of Labour Party, LP, Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.
However and inline with their avowed commitment, the LP candidate supporters known as ‘Obidients’ converged at strategic places in Lagos, Kaduna, Abia, Edo, amongst other states in Nigeria on Saturday.
In Lagos, the supporters started the walk from the Admiralty Junction moving through the major road in Lekki.
They made stops at every junction waving flags, banners and other paraphernalia as they rally towards Jakande, Elegushi axis, an apparent move to avoid confrontation with the police already stationed at the Lekki Toll Gate.
Similar rallies are ongoing in Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Edo, Delta etc states respectively.