The police on Wednesday stopped youths in Badagry from disrupting the ongoing third Black Heritage Festival over alleged marginalisation.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that scores of youths, under the aegis of the Badagry Youth Forum, had applied for a police permit to hold a protest march.

Confirming the development, the Divisional Police Officer, Badagry Divisional Headquarters, Mr. Salihu Samuel, a chief superintendent of police, said the group was referred to the area commander.

He said, 'Only the Area Commander, ACP Abimbola Ambali, can issue a police permit to hold a rally. So, I advised them to make their request to her.'

But when the youths contacted Ambali at the area command in Festac, she refused to grant them the permit on the grounds that the protest march could be hijacked by hoodlums.

She said, 'I have a mandate to ensure peace and security; and anything to the contrary is not acceptable.'

Some of the youths told NAN that their grievance was because the indigenes and architects of the Black Heritage Festival were alienated from this edition's organisation.

Adepegba Adekunle, a student and member, Badagry Youth Forum, wondered why they were not carried along in the hosting of the festival.

He said, 'I am worried that despite the fact that the Black Heritage Festival originated from Badagry, it is the Lagos axis that is calling the shots.

'Lagos Island is noted for the Eyo Festival and not Black Heritage Festival, so when they invite Badagry indigenes, we are only onlookers and will not hijack the programme.'

Adekunle said that the organisation of the event started wrongly when the Lagos State Government constituted the Main Organising Committee, headed by Prof. Wole Soyinka, without anybody representing Badagry.

President, BYF, Mr. Akeem Adeogba, lamented the conduct of the festival with little or no input from its originators.

'Despite the fact that Black Heritage Festival originated from Badagry, the programme has been hijacked by Lagos Island,' he said.