It was a mild drama on Thursday as some operatives attached to the Area ‘F’ Police Command fired tear gas at some anti-Bola Tinubu protesters led by a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba and the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin in Lagos.
It was gathered that the group, Free Lagos Orange Movement, converged on the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, to launch the ‘O to ge’ movement for Tinubu, a replica of what led to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki’s defeat during last Saturday’s election in Kwara State.
In employing the ‘O to ge’ mantra, which means ‘Enough is Enough’, the Free Lagos Orange Movement, aimed at ending the political dynasty of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
However, the atmosphere changed when the police officers arrived at the hotel in six patrol vehicles and one Black Maria van, and later blocked the entrance to the venue.
The development prevented customers from coming in or going out of the hotel as the blockade lasted for two hours.
This led to traffic congestion on both sides of the Obafemi Awolowo Way as participants for the conference and other customers were stranded at the main gate of the hotel.
However, the tension rose when hoodlums stormed the venue and demanded that members of the movement leave the venue.
The stiff resistance of the movement to leave the venue led to a confrontation with the hoodlums, who were allegedly acting on the directive of the senator representing Lagos West, Senator Olamilekan Solomon, which degenerated into a free-for-all, forcing the police officers to use tear gas and gunshots to disperse them.
Speaking on the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Chike Oti, said the police action was informed by the movement inability to notify the command about its mission.
“In view of the incident that happened yesterday (Wednesday) wherein some group of persons, without clearance from the police, decided to embark on a procession, and today again, we got information that a group of people would be gathering at another location.
“Since we were not notified of what they wanted to do, which would have enabled us to make adequate preparation and guide them appropriately or work along with them to make the event a success, we decided to disperse everybody to prevent any incident from occurring.
“Two sets of people gathered and at a point, they turned it into a riotous event and we had no option but to use a public order instrument to disperse them without any collateral damage.”
On his part, Agbakoba noted that the movement is unmoved by the actions of the Police and would not stop the group in keeping the momentum of dismantling Tinubu’s stranglehold on Lagos.
He said, “The Free Lagos Movement is a non-political movement that is aimed at ensuring that we have good governance in Lagos State. We feel that Tinubu has had his time as the emperor of Lagos since 1998, and we are trying to mobilise Lagosians to say no to the continuity of Lagos by Tinubu.
“I’m not surprised that the police would come and break up the gathering, but it won’t deter us as our purpose is to build on the result of the last elections. We hope to keep the momentum and we are backing Jimi Agbaje, because we want something new.”
Also, one of the conveners of the group, Mark Adebayo, noted that it was time to free the state from ‘bondage’ and allow the will of the people to prevail.
He said, “I want you to challenge the political hegemony that has maltreated and cornered our resources. Are we so stupid and ignorant in Lagos to allow one man to manipulate and maltreat us this way? The clear answer is a resounding no.
“So, Lagosians, enough is enough; Lagosians arise and shine, liberate yourselves from the iron grip of one man. Stand up and free yourselves and your future from the captivity of a roguish system of power succession that lacks basic respect for the free choice of leadership.”