Founder of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has called for the immediate release of Chief Olu Falae, kidnapped on Monday, September 21, 2015, in Ondo State. He has also criticised the Federal Government for its silence 24 hours following the kidnap.
Born on September 21 like Falae, a visibly agitated Fasehun, who just turned 80, said in Lagos yesterday that he had ordered OPC operatives to immediately launch a manhunt, combing all nooks and crannies of Ondo State and beyond, for the abducted politician.
Fasehun described the kidnap as an assault and insult on the Yoruba people, and challenged security operatives and agencies to produce Falae within 48 hours.
The OPC leader has summoned all members of the group in the country to attend an emergency meeting on Sunday.
“OPC is not interested in crisis but it was founded primarily for the protection of its own and for building bridges in Nigeria,” he said. “All lovers of Nigerian unity like OPC, communal peace and national progress must rise up to this challenge.”
Warning of possible consequences, Fasehun pointed out that eyewitnesses indicated that Falae had been taken by strangers.
His words: “At my turning 80, the entire world would expect me to be a bridge builder. And I have prepared myself to be just that. But if any missile is thrown at you, and it is likely to affect your eyeball, you must avoid it at all costs. This is my view of the insult now being unleashed, being flung at Nigeria by the enemies of Nigeria’s unity.”
The kidnappers have reportedly demanded a ransom of N100 million.
Recalling that Falae had rendered “impeccable” service to the country as a Permanent Secretary, then Minister of Finance and Secretary to the Federal Government, Fasehun described the victim’s current ordeal as uncharitable.
“When we heard that Falae was kidnapped, we thought it was impossible, as kidnappers would not be mad enough to kidnap a man of peace, a man who has selflessly served Nigeria.
“Falae is by any standard a leader of the Yoruba people, a leader of Nigeria and a significant leader in Africa. He is a leader of Afenifere. He was a leader of NADECO. And any assault on him is an assault on Nigeria and Nigerians,” he said.
On the Federal Government not officially reacting react to the incident, Fasehun said: “Over 24 hours after this disruption of the life of a dignitary, government has not issued any statement; rather what we hear is a loud silence from the Federal Government. It is a shame; it is a big shame.”
According to the OPC president, the kidnapping of the top-flight politician portended ill for his fellows.
“We believe this is a political issue. And any politician in Nigeria must make sure that Chief Olu Falae is released immediately. Otherwise OPC will take any step available to defend its own,” he said.
Source: Daily Independent