Sunday 28 May 2023

Yoruba nation agitators hijack FRCN station in Ibadan

One day to the commencement of a new political dispensation in Nigeria, some suspected Yoruba nation agitators in the early hours of Sunday, May 28, sprang up a surprise, by hijacking a radio station, Amuludun 99.1 FM of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), with the intent to declare liberation from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

But it could not be immediately confirmed whether the invaders are members of the self-determination group for the Yoruba nation, or they just faked it. But five among the invaders have been arrested by security agencies and paraded by the police in Ibadan on Sunday.

The radio station is situated at J&P Area of Moniya in Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. The agitators wore green polo shirts, while others also wore black polo shirts. The green shirts have ‘Yoruba Nation Army’ on their back as inscriptions, while the black shirts also have on their back inscriptions: Yoruba Nation Police.

About 20 suspected members of Yoruba nation agitators reportedly stormed the radio station and hijacked it around 5:30 a.m. They reportedly came with various forms of charms, amulets, guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons.

The staff of the radio station that was on duty were held hostage before the agitators were overpowered by combined security agencies. The hijackers during the siege, were said to have gone on air and transmitted their prepared agenda to the airwaves, saying the Yoruba nation is no longer part of Nigeria, and that the United Nations (UN) would announce the Yoruba nation as a sovereign country soon.

A source, who works at the station said: That is what we witnessed this morning. They hijacked the station around 6 am. But they had been at the station before that time.

“They came with various forms of charms. They woke our staff, who were sleeping. Some of our staff have fled. We are yet to see some of our staff. But the security personnel are on the ground now.”

Another source said: “The hijackers had their way into the live studio of our station when the sponsored programme was ongoing. The hijackers entered the studio and took over. After they took over the live studio, they started broadcasting. They said many things, including Oodua Nation has come to stay. Yoruba is no more under the Federal Republic of Nigeria. United Nations will soon declare Oodua Nation. The agitators were on the air for about one hour.

However, the swift response of policemen from the Moniya Divisional Police headquarters and Moniya Area Command; Oyo Station Joint Security Patrol team codenamed, Operation Burst; and soldiers from 2 Division of Nigerian Army, Odoogbo, Ojoo, Ibadan, terminated the siege laid by the hijackers. They had responded to distress calls from critical stallholders. The security agencies were able to arrest five of the suspects, who have been taken to the Oyo State Police Command, Eleyele, Ibadan, where they have been paraded.

They were paraded by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Adebowale Williams. He gave their names as Noah Atoyebi, Male, aged-30; Gbenga Adeleke, male aged-25; Abdulganiyu Mustafa Kolawole, male, aged-35; Bashiru Kehinde, female, aged 30; and Fajola Elija, male, aged – 45yrs.

Williams said: “Preliminary investigations about today’s incident revealed that today being Sunday 28/05/2023 at about 0600hrs the valiant and eagle-eyed operatives of the command, while on intelligence-driven patrols, intercepted a distress call about some members of a group driven by a separatist agenda, who had forcefully hijacked a radio broadcast Slstation, Amuludun 99.1 FM, located around Moniya, Ibadan with the intent to declare liberation from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Thankfully, no personnel from the establishment or any other persons were hurt as the command responded swiftly in a well-coordinated rescue operation.

“I have personally detailed an investigation team, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department to demystify circumstances around the incident and as well expand the network of arrests through thorough, painstaking intelligence-driven investigation.

“While declaring this act as criminal, unpatriotic and a clear case of terrorism, which would be meted with adequate sanctions under the laws of the land, I assure good citizens of the state that the security architecture of the command in concert with relevant sister agencies has been strategically modified for optimum effectiveness, not only for tomorrow’s (Monday) epoch-making ceremony but beyond.

“So also, parents, guardians and leaders wielding various degrees of influence are advised to prevail on their children, wards and proteges, against being used to disrupt tomorrow’s (Monday) event, as heavy sanctions await defaulters and other unpatriotic elements sharing the same sinister motives.

“This far, the suspects in possession of various criminal charms were arrested in connection with the incident (invasion of Amuludun FM). The Oyo State Police Command enjoins residents to be generous with information and cooperate with the Command in a bid to rid the state of criminal elements with the intent to propagate their separatist agenda.”

Speaking with journalists over their arrest, one of the agitators, who claimed to be a clergyman, from Enugu State said: “I came to Ibadan from Enugu State on Friday. I’m a Prophet. One man, named Black Lion, called us from the United States. He was the one that instructed us to go to the radio station to make a live broadcast that United Nations has given us freedom. He told us that United Nations has ordered the Yoruba nation to break away from the Nigerian entity. So, that is why we went to the radio station peacefully this morning to make a live broadcast.

“We don’t have the intention of fighting anybody. We were told to go and make a live broadcast that the Yoruba nation has been announced by the United Nations; that is the information we were given and that is our mission at the Amuludun radio station this morning. We did not go to that station with guns, or anything that can harm anybody. All these charms are for our protection, should in case of any attack.”


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