Despite heavy police presence, members of the Afenifere and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) have staged a successful rally in Itire, a Lagos suburb.
The police, led by the Divisional Police Officer of Itire Police Division, Mr. A.A. Oyekan, had barricaded the venue of the rally along Adeniyi Street, Itire, as early as 6 a.m.
The DPO said the police took the action because there was no permit to carry out the rally. However, members of the Afenifere regrouped along Karimu Taiwo Street, in the house of the coordinator of the rally, Hon. Thomas Olumuyiwa Fadeyi.
Acting on a tip off, the police again stormed the house of Fadeyi and the DPO ordered his men to pack over a hundred chairs into five waiting police pick up vehicles. Using a public address system, the DPO warned them not to go beyond the street.
In defiance, over 5,000 members of Afenifere regrouped in Fadeyiâ€™s hosue and in his address, he (Fadeyi) urged them to come out en masse in the forthcoming voter’s registration exercise as their vote is their power.
He said he was out to help the masses and that in the 1980s when he served as a councillor in Mushin Local Government Area, he left the council with N25 and he was satisfied.
Fadeyi said when he served as a member of the state House of Assembly, he did not make any money. â€œI was buoyant before I went into the office, but I left even without my entitlements,â€ Fadeyi said.
He urged his supporters to work hand in hand with the ACN leaders in Lagos such as Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor Babatunde Fashola, Alhaji Hamzat, Dr. Muiz Banire, Engr. Rauf Aregbesola and other notable party leaders for the success of the party..
â€œOnce you are able to contribute your quota to the party, you are a leader, but Muiz Banire is an outstanding leader in Mushin,” Fadeyi said.
Members of Afenifere ACN condemned the action of the police, describing it as ”high handedness.”
A member of the group, who spoke on behalf of ‘Committee of friends of Fadeyi’, Sola Sobande, said ”the action of the police reminds me of the dark days of Abacha.”
She said the committee has decided to back Fadeyi as a contestant for the House of Representatives in the forthcoming election, if heâ€™s willing to run.