OPC raises alarm over Biafran agitators plan to shift campaign to Yorubaland
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has raised the alarm of an alleged moves by the pro-Biafran agitators to shift their campaign to Yorubaland “for ulterior motives”.
OPC in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan and signed by the National Coordinating Council of the OPC, Comrade Akinpelu Adeshina asked security agencies and Yoruba leaders to guard against threat to peace in the South West zone.
It specifically advocated increased surveillance on the organizers of ‘The World Igbo Day 2015’ proposed to be hosted in Yorubaland this Saturday alleging “ulterior motives” behind the hurried arrangement.
“We see the attempt to bring the World Igbo Day celebration – in whatever guise – which is normally celebrated on the 29th September annually to the Yorubaland as a mischievous and diabolically crafted attempt to cause chaos in and destabilize Yorubaland; and this we will repulse and reject with everything at our disposal,” OPC stated.
Emphasizing that it was “compelled to make this call given the precarious and heightened security situation in the country and the world over”, OPC
added, “as much as we believe in the right of every person and group to self-determination, we are of the firm belief that this particular event is mischievously conceived and earmarked to be hosted in any part of Yorubaland.
“It is true that the Yoruba are a liberal, peaceful and accommodating people, yet we are no fools and should not be treated as fools. The South West part of Nigeria is the most secure and peaceful part of Nigeria today and should therefore not be turned into a theatre of war or avoidable crisis”.
OPC stressed in the statement that “for too long, the Yoruba have accommodated all other tribes and nationalities like good hosts. We have not minded the odium and other atrocities committed against our people, and on our ancestral land.
“During the last election campaigns, it was the height of all insults when the Igbos in Lagos derided and mudsling our highly revered traditional rulers, particularly the Oba of Lagos. Never in history has it been recorded that a Yoruba person or group crossed the Niger River into either the northern or eastern part of the country to go and vilify, desecrate or insult any of their paramount rulers for political or any other reasons. The leeway to do business and own properties which the Igbo and other nationalities enjoy in Yorubaland has not been reciprocated for the Yoruba elsewhere, thus it would only be fair to warn anyone or group that ‘if our relationship cannot be mutually beneficial, it should in no way be injurious to us as a people”.
It noted that “The recent infractions of the Fulani cattle-herders in Yorubaland are the last slap to the cheek that we are ready to accommodate as a people. We have also not forgotten the attempt to overrun Yorubaland and turn it into the theatre of war during the Biafran attempt to cede from Nigeria”.
OPC then charged all Yoruba elders, “leaders of thought and the commoners to wake up to the realities of the day and stand up to be counted in this effort to maintain the continued peaceful and harmonious existence that has always been the pride of the Yorubas.”