President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Gani Adams, on his investiture as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo asking him to use the position for national unity.
Buhari in his congratulatory message on Friday said Chief Adams should use the new position to pursue worthy goals of security, peace and national unity.
The president’s congratulatory message was made available to journalists in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
“The President commends the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111, on the appointment of a new Aare Ona Kakanfo, who will assist him in the arduous task of leading the illustrious Yoruba people.
“President Buhari urges the new Kakanfo to bring quintessential courage, wisdom and astuteness to bear on his new office, for a more secure life for the weak, vulnerable and voiceless in the country,” the statement read in part.
Buhari, therefore, prayed God will grant the Aare Ona Kakanfo a favourable reign.
Residents of Igbodu community in the Epe area of Lagos State were in the early hours of Tuesday jolted by a gun duel between some suspected kidnappers and men of the Nigeria Police.
Confirming the incident, a source in the Lagos State Police Command told Channels Television that the suspects opened fire on a team of policemen who were on patrol along the Epe axis, and riddled their vehicle with bullets.
One of the farmers in the area also told Channels Television that the gun battle broke out after some of the kidnap victims escaped when they noticed that six of the gang members had left the camp, leaving only two of them, whom they later overpowered.
On arrival at the camp and learning that their victims had escaped, the gang members reportedly went on rampage, attacking everyone they came across.
The kidnappers had on February 14 abducted five farm assistants and two members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), who were guarding the farmers and requested for five million naira as ransom.
A non-governmental organisation that goes by the name Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) has asked the Police to arrest Senator Buruji Kashamu for making inciting comments which has the potential to undermine public safety and national security.
The group made the demand in a public petition to the Inspector General of Police on Monday, January 30, which was signed by its Executive Chairman, Nelson Ekujumi.
The CPPM expressed shock at what it described as “irresponsible, barbaric, unparliamentary and threats to national peace and security statements” credited to Senator Buruji Kashamu over his indictment for drug related offences by the US appeal court and the order for his extradition to face trial.
Senator Buruji Kashamu was quoted in a national daily as warning that before anybody could succeed to extradite him to the US to face trial for drug related offence, “about three, four or five people will die”.
He also reportedly vowed that any attempt to “abduct” him would be met with violence, saying he planned to engage the services of members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) for protection.
CPPM said: “We regard these provocative and unbecoming comments of Senator Buruji Kashamu as denigrating to his office as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and an attempt to intimidate the law enforcement agencies from the discharge of their constitutional duties as well as an assault on the constitution which must be condemned and resisted.
“If Senator Buruji Kashamu who is a member of our highest law making institution, the Senate feels strongly about a judgement of the court whether in Nigeria or any part of the world, one would have expected him, as a custodian of the legitimate mandate of the Nigerian people to be civil, responsible and sensitive to explore civilized means of seeking redress rather than threatening public peace by threats of violence.
“Therefore, we are calling on the leadership of the Senate to immediately summon Senator Buruji Kashamu to appear before its appropriate committee for acts unbecoming of a Senator and for bringing the image of the house to public opprobrium.
“We are equally calling for the immediate arrest and questioning of Senator Buruji Kashamu for his unparliamentary, inciting and violence threatening comments which has the potentials to undermine public safety and national security.”
The national coordinator of the Odua People’s Congress (OPC), Mr Gani Adams, has asked the Nigerian government to do more to adequately harness the revenue generation potential of the Osun Osogbo Festival.
Mr made the demand while hosting members of the Oodua People’s Congress at the Laro-Timehin Middle School in Osogbo, Osun State in southwest Nigeria to mark this year’s festival.
The OPC leader, who pointed out that culture was unique and rich wondered why the Osun Festival held on Friday recorded low turnout compared to the previous years.
He also admonished the Yoruba race to make conscious effort in discovering their true sense of value.
Worshippers Growing Lean
Mr Adams said: “I am just coming out from the groove, it is so disappointing that in the last six years, there is no significant development in the groove. How can this attract tourists?
“The government and the people of Osun need to do better to ensure the sustainability of this festival.
“I am surprised that the turnout of worshippers is growing lean every year and in particular the tourists especially the whites are not many here today.
“I believe that we are not getting it right as regards promoting our culture and this is responsible for the low turnout.
“The Yoruba race is also taking culture for granted, take a cue from northerners, they still celebrate Argungu Fishing festival and Durban Festival in spite of their religious beliefs the people troop out in Large number to be part of the celebration.
“We have allowed modernisation to almost erode our culture. We need to rediscover our true sense of value. I commend and acknowledge the efforts of the OPC in promoting culture with the Olokun Festival and other festivals they do,” he stated.
On the poor turnout, he further expressed his displeasure with the way the festival was organised, stressing that the organisers should have provided something to eat or drink to persons present.
“I am not pleased in any way with the organisers of this event for their way of not arranging anything to eat. We don’t celebrate Christmas without eating anything and Ileya too.
“How can we call this a festival when you don’t give the people just a sachet of water?” he questioned.
He also urged the Federal Government to collaborate with the State Government and the people of Osun in creating a platform where the festival would be showcased for the world to embrace.
“Osun is a goddess that has been strong and honourable for ages. Well organised festivals like Osun Osogbo Festival multiply the economy of any country.
“If this festival is properly packaged it can be used to generate wealth for not just Osun State but Nigeria, considering what it will cost all the tourists who are here from all over the country and outside, with their hotel accommodation alone, Osun State economy will receive a boost this past few days.
“Nothing stops major television stations in the country from covering this event live, just as they cover Durban festival in the North,” the OPC leader added.
Frontline leaders of the Yoruba nation in south-west Nigeria have called on the Federal Government to proffer solutions to the challenges of economic downturn, insecurity and unemployment in Nigeria.
The leaders, drawn from socio-political organisations such as Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders, Oodua People’s Congress, Yoruba Unity Forum, Oodua Foundation and Agbekoya Organisations, jointly gave the advice at a Yoruba summit held on Wednesday in Akure, the Capital city of Ondo State.
The theme of the summit is: “Economic downturn and unemployment in Yorubaland.”
The leaders equally called on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to implement some of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, laying emphasis on resource control by states.
Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, also lamented the devastating effect of the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group. He also regretted the state of the nation’s economy and the inability of states to pay workers’ salaries.
Elder Statesmen, Chief Olu Falae, Dr. Lekan Olajide and Dr. Yemi Farombi gave their views on the state of insecurity, economic recession and unemployment in the nation.
This edition of the Yoruba Summit is the second, with the first one held in Ibadan, Oyo State in October.
Yoruba Leaders from all Yoruba speaking states in Nigeria and from the Diaspora have deliberated on the way out of the incessant unwarranted attacks on their kinsmen by Fulani herdsmen.
Gathered at the House of Chiefs Secretariat in Ibadan on Friday, the Yoruba leaders cited the recent abduction of elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, as an appalling example.
The summit said that it would no longer tolerate such brazen and mindless attacks on its people.
The Summit noted that despite the fact that they matchetted, molested, demanded and got ransom paid before the release of Mr Falae, the herdsmen were back on his farm on Monday, October 6 and have commenced grazing on the same parcel of land where he was forcefully taken.
They demanded immediate end to the lawless nomadic cattle grazing in Yoruba land and asked all those who want to engage in cattle business in any part of the land to do animal husbandry by establishing ranches, as Yorubas would no longer tolerate further encroachment on their farmlands and brutal attacks on them.
The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent measures to put an end to the nefarious activities of Fulani herdsmen in the southwest.
The summit also asked the Federal Government to ensure immediate arrest and prosecution of the abductors of Mr Falae and all perpetrators of the violent crimes which had been reported at different police stations in Yoruba land arising from cattle rearing activities.
The summit further demanded an immediate restructuring of Nigeria with the implementation of the report of 2014 National Conference as a starting point on the way to true federalism.
With obvious anger on their faces and in their submissions, the summit came up with three recommendations in a communique after long hours of extensive discussions on the way out of what they described as the ugliest form of oppression on their own lands.
The 3-point communique, which was read by Dr. Kunle Olajide, sought to put an end to all grazing activities of Fulani herdsmen on private farmlands.
The Leader of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress, Dr. Fredrick Faseun, also told Journalists that such acts would no longer be tolerated and called on President Buhari to do something urgently about it.
The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) on Monday stormed the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, demanding the sack of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, before the general elections.
Guns, cutlasses, pocket knifes, among other weapons, were seen on the OPC members who also destroyed some campaign posters of the All Progressives Congress candidates.
The protesters blocked the major highways causing a heavy traffic snarl while harassing pedestrians and motorists.
The protesters took time to distribute leaflets containing seven reasons why the INEC boss should be sacked.
As part of the continuing enquiry into the torture of Ejigbo Market women, the Nigeria Police has obtained the pictures and descriptions of the three suspects declared wanted during its last press update.
As stated in a release by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mba, the three suspects are; Ranti Lukman Akande, Akeem Shitu and Tiri.
Ranti Lukeman Akande a.k.a Otempa uses the appellations: Comrade or Alhaji or Chief Ranti Lukeman Akande. He is between 45 to 50 years old and hails from Ayetoro in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State. He is dark in complexion, tall with a big frame and has no tribal marks.
The suspect has white set of teeth with an artificial gold tooth. He had been known as a panel beater before he eventually started parading himself as Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC). He speaks Yoruba and English Languages. He is married with children and he likes attending parties.
Akeem Shitu is about 42 years of age. He hails from Ayete town, Ibarapa Central Local Government Area of Oyo State. He is dark in complexion, slim but tall and has tribal marks. He speaks Yoruba Language fluently and also speaks understandable English language. He is married and is believed to be a member of the OPC at Ejigbo.
Tiri is about 37 years of age. He hails from Ibadan in Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State. He is married and has children. He is dark in complexion, not too tall, no tribal marks, has pointed nose with uneven set of teeth. He also has visible thick lower lips.
The public has been implored to furnish the Police with any useful information that would lead to the arrest of these wanted suspects.
The Nigeria Police Force has arrested and will soon charge to court, 12 suspects connected with the torture of 3 women at Oba Morufu International Market, Ejigbo, Lagos.
This is according to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mba.
Two of the victims who were young girls were arrested along with their mother, tortured and dehumanized by persons who claimed to be members of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) providing security at the market, and some market association officials who subsequently extorted the sum of 50,000 Naira from the father of the victims in return for their freedom.
One of the victims, Juliana Agoma, a national of Republic of Benin, was moved back to Cotonou by her father where she subsequently died, allegedly from injuries sustained in the torture.
The suspects include: Isiaka Waidi (the Baba-Oja of the market) said to be the mastermind of the dastardly act which culminated in the arrest, debasement, torture and extortion of 50,000 Naira, Haruna Abdullahi and Buhari Yusuf who mixed the concoction of pepper and alcoholic spirit that were applied on the bodies, including the privates of the victims.
Others include Saheed Adisa, Lateef Tijani, Ahmed Adisa, Oloruntoyin Dauda a.k.a Iya-Oja, Adekunle Adenuga, Jimoh Busari and Azeez Akinosun.
It would be recalled that earlier in the year, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar, had, in view of his concern towards ensuring the speedy delivery of justice in the case, ordered the immediate takeover of its investigation by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Force Criminal Investigation Department (Lagos Annex) from the Lagos State Police Command.
Consequently, a team of crack detectives led by DCP Chris Ezike swung into action and conducted discreet investigations, during which the suspects in connection with the matter were arrested.
The Police have also declared wanted the following suspects: Tiri, an alleged member of OPC who was captured in the video footage and alleged to have stripped naked one of the victims, Ajoke Agoma, mother of the two other female victims in the presence of her husband, Otepa Oluronti, Akeem and Michael Abolore whose whereabouts are yet unknown but who have been implicated in having played active roles in the heinous crimes against the victims.
Meanwhile, the IGP has commended the Human Rights, Civil Society, and Women Support Groups as well as the Office of the Public Defender, Lagos State Ministry of Justice and all other stakeholders whose important contributions have tremendously assisted the Police in the matter and others relating to human dignity, safety and security. He called on the public to assist the Police with information that would lead to the arrest of the fleeing suspects.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Ekiti state chapter has asked the national chairman, of the newly floated Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Dr Fredrick Faseun not to interfere in the affairs of the party over his criticism of the removal of Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele as chairman of the Ekiti caucus in the House of Representatives, by his colleagues.
Dr Faseun who is also the founder of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) had in a statement, faulted Opeyemi’s removal and asked the leadership of the ACN to guarantee the safety of the House of Representatives member.
In a statement by the director of publicity of the party, Mr Segun Dipe, who described Faseun as an agent of the presidency,asked the Oodua leader to stay clear of the internal matters of the party.
He said that ACN has its own process for nominating candidates for election; tand wondered why Faseun who is not a member of the party would fault a process for which he is ignorant.
The statement stressed that Faseun cannot lay claim to be a stakeholder in ACN, hence cannot talk about abuse of internal democracy in the party, adding that neither him nor Opeyemi- his co-traveller in the “presidency plot”, can undo the endorsement of governor Fayemi for a second term by the state and national leaders of the party.
“We know the antecedence of both Faseun and Opeyemi as opportunistic politicians and crumb-eaters from the Abuja table and they should stop fooling members of the public with their fake progressive claims”, the statement added.
“We find it curious that Fasehun who has degenerated to the level of a crumb eater at the Abuja table would want to dictate the dimension of the internal workings of the ACN, just because one of his co-travellers in the “presidency plot” to undermine the party was removed as chairman of the Ekiti caucus in the house of representatives by his colleagues.
“We are not surprised that Dr Fasehun is crying more than the bereaved, as both himself and Opeyemi are tools in the hands of the presidency in a plot that has failed before it was hatched.
The President and founder of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC), Frederick Fasehun has said that that the intention of revitalising the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) was not to create disunity in the South West but to restore true democracy in the country.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s weekend programme, Politics Today, Mr Fasehun said he found it ridiculous when he read in the papers of the accusation that his move to revive the UPN was sponsored by some officials from the government.
The OPC leader speaks further on how the proposed revived party will be funded; the prospects of the UPN and the purported N2 billion pipeline protection contract from the Federal Government.
The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) on Sunday asked the extremist group, Boko Haram to steer clear of the South-West.
In a statement on Sunday, Founder and President of OPC, Frederick Fasehun, asked the insurgents not to “export” violence to Yorubaland.
He said although Boko Haram’s current agitation justified OPC’s age-old demand for a Sovereign National Conference, his organisation would view the attack of the region as a declaration of war.
Dr Fasehun said, “Nigeria has been experiencing some muscle flexing that has led to the death of many citizens in the North. But since such muscle flexing is not pitching geographical zones against one another, OPC has always felt that Nigeria’s current crisis has not assumed warfare proportions.
“We sympathise with those who have causes to struggle for. However, we believe that local struggles for social justice should be contained within local boundaries.
“Any extension beyond such boundaries clearly connotes the pursuing of a territorial ambition; and any people provoking other people through territorial ambition should ultimately expect a war. And in warfare, everything and anything is fair.
“OPC’s message should be clear to sponsors of the ongoing violence in our country. They should not unnecessarily jeopardize their own lives, their businesses and their other interests in the places where they currently enjoy peace. Yoruba people are not unaware of their addresses and their business interests throughout the South-West. A word is enough for the wise.
“Last year, the bodies of Yoruba graduates serving their fatherland in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) were brought home to us. OPC takes this opportunity to alert governors of the South-West on the need to take immediate measures to preempt and prevent the killing of our youths participating in the NYSC. The same advice goes to Yoruba indigenes residing in the North; they must do the needful to avoid danger overtaking them in the land of their sojourning.”
The OPC leader said the Yoruba people had elected to live in peace and harmony with other ethnic nationalities.
He, however, said they would do everything necessary to protect and defend their land and people from external aggression.