We wrote earlier about the OPC protest, but this account from The Nation provides extra details of the protest carried out by members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) yesterday.
The aim of the protest? Dr. Frederick Fasehun, leader of the OPC, said the group was protesting the general insecurity in the country, especially the terrorist activities of the Boko Haram sect.
How many protesters and where were they? Contrary to reports from the AP that put the number of protesters at 100, The Nation reported 1,000 OPC members who marched in a procession from the old toll gate through Ojota, Maryland, Ikorodu Road and Ojuelegba to the National Stadium where the procession terminated with a rally.
Intermittent gun fire and police confrontation? Both reports from the Nation and the AP stated the men were armed. The march caused traffic in the Ikorodu area and according to the Nation, and some OPC members had words with LASTMA officials who stopped them from driving against traffic. While Dr. Fasehun denied that his men shot intermittently into the air, eye witness and media reports state the opposite. The OPC were out to demonstrate force and punctuated their point with gunshots.
On that matter, however, Dr. Fasehun said:
“We started from the toll gate and ended the procession at the National Stadium. We held a rally to protest the inability of the government to address some issues of national importance that we raised in the past.
“There was no shooting anywhere and they did not have an encounter with anybody,” he chief stressed.
OPC co-ordinator Gani Adams, denied the protest altogether.
In an SMS to The Nation, he said: “This is to inform the general public that we are not part of the mayhem going on in 7UP-Ojota-Ojuelegba axis… The so-called protest/rally does not have my support.”
Lagos police spokesman Samuel Jinadu declined to speak on the rally; infact, according to reports, the entire protest went down today without any interference by the police.
OPC members, brandishing machetes and rifles, ran unchecked through Lagos city in broad daylight and terrified citizens who mistook them for armed robbers, with little to no supervision or interference from the police force.