Some Yoruba Nation agitators, on Sunday morning, seized Radio Nigeria, Amuludun FM 99.1 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, taking over broadcast for more than one hour.
A source told The PUNCH Metro that the agitators, who besieged the station around 5:40 am in an 18-seater bus, were armed with dangerous weapons and charms, threatening to deal decisively with any staff member who refused to cooperate with them.
However, four out of the agitators, among whom was a woman, were arrested by the police with the assistance of the Nigerian army, while others ran in different directions to evade arrest.
One of the arrested agitators, who sustained gunshot wounds, had rushed into the studio to tell others that security operatives had taken over the nooks and crannies of the station. The blood stain was seen in the studio.
An investigation by our correspondent revealed that after holding some night duty staff and security guards hostage, the agitators hijacked the studio and announced live on the radio “Welcome to the Yoruba Nation.”
An impeccable source further said they continued threatening staff members to remove all Nigeria flags in the station and replace them with Yoruba Nation flags as they have already taken over the Government Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
It was further learned that they initially hijacked some commercial vehicles (Micra) to block the main road.
When our correspondent visited the station at J&P Bus-stop, Moniya in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state, more than 20 operational vehicles of security agents, including Department of State Services were sighted at strategic locations to forestall any eventuality.
Confirming the invasion, the most senior staff on duty, Ajayi Omotola, stated that, “They told us that they are Yoruba Nation agitators. And in their T-shirt, there was that inscription there. They wrote the Yoruba Nation. Only six persons came inside the studio with different charms threatening to kill us if we failed to cooperate. Others were outside manning security at different areas within the premises.
“They collected all our phones and threatened to kill us if we made any noise or phone calls. They said they wanted to broadcast live that the Yoruba Nation has taken over. We should remove all Nigeria flags in our studio and replace them with their own. They didn’t allow anybody to go outside. The Area Commander came, addressed, and even pleaded with them but they ignored him. We later heard sporadic shooting outside. So, one of our staff members then came inside to inform us that police and soldiers had arrived,” Omotola stressed.
As of press time, normalcy had returned while stern-looking security operatives were still manning the station.
The PUNCH Metro reports that the radio station was established on October 10, 2007, and commenced transmission in pure and undiluted Yoruba language on October 22, the same year.