The attention Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has been drawn to the news “circulating in the media, some with the picture of its National Coordinator, Otunba Gani Adams kicking against the plan of pro-Biafra group to stage their protest in Lagos.”
The Oodua Peoples Congress stated that the reports were reckless and sensitive, noting that the statement cannot be traced to OPC as led by Adams.
OPC Director of media and publicity, Yinka Oguntimehin, categorically stated that the Oodua Peoples Congress never issued any statement against any tribe or body over their right of association or protest as long as such a protest was peaceful and security of lives and property was assured and monitored by security agents.
In his statement, He said;
“The Igbos have a population of over 35 million spread all over the world, some of them have stayed in Lagos and indeed the South West for over 40 years”.
“It is not the purview of OPC to deny such people their right to determine their future and membership of the country as contained in the United Nations Self Determination charter of 14 December 1960″.
“The United Nations General Assembly adopted General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) under titled Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples provided for the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples in providing an inevitable legal linkage between self-determination and its goal of decolonisation, and a postulated new international law-based right of freedom also in economic self-determination”.
“Although the Igbos do not allow Yoruba such freedom in their region as they enjoy in South West, it is not a reason to go against their decision to self determination”.
“However, if they step out of line allowed in the constitution, the Federal Government should do the needful by making use of the security agencies”.
“The position of OPC on self determination is clear as we are in support of true Federalism and Statism, but we are not in anyway against the choice of Ibos to self determination.”
The statement pointed out that one Shina Akinpelu issued the anti-Biafra protest, advising media houses to shun further releases from the name.
“Akinpelu is a dismissed member of the Congress and he has no mandate of the congress to issue any statement,” the statement concluded.
The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) is a Yoruba nationalist organization in Nigeria. The Yoruba people, who live in the southwestern part of Nigeria, and in neighbouring countries such as Benin, are a large ethno-linguistic group; the majority of them speak the Yoruba language (ede Yorùbá). The Yoruba constitute approximately 35 percent of Nigeria’s total population,[and around 50 million individuals throughout the region of West Africa.
It is also known as the Oodua Liberation Movement (OLM) or the Revolutionary Council of Nigeria (RCN)
The Oodua Peoples Congress was formed when a group of Yoruba elite, including Frederick Fasehun, decided to form an organization to actualize the annulled mandate of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, a Yoruba who won the presidential election of June 12, 1993 but was barred from office.
Although the founding president of the OPC was Fasehun, in 1999 a faction led by Ganiyu Adams broke off from the main organization, but continued usage of the main party’s name is led by Ganiyu Adams. Adams and Fasehun are widely held by the Yoruba to be the leaders of the OPC. In December 1999, the newly formed Arewa People’s Congress said it would begin full self-defence training for northern residents in reaction to attacks on Hausas by the OPC.
Omolara Adegoke- Abuja
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