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 Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has refuted a newspaper report in which he was quoted to have ordered Mr Gani Adams to vacate his position as the National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).
Ooni Ogunwusi dismissed the reports in a statement released by his spokesman, Mr Moses Olafare, who described Gani Adams as an unapologetic loyalist of the Ooni.
He said that the veteran Yoruba Self-determined Adams had invested so much of resources into the socio-cultural emancipation of Oodua race and could only be treated with a deserved reciprocation of love and respect, as a patriotic Ooduan who had never hesitated to demonstrate love and respect to the sacred throne of Oduduwa.
“Baba Ooni never at anytime claimed to have ordered Otunba Gani Adams to resign as the Leader of the OPC. He sees him as an unapologetic loyalist and son who has always treated him as his father with love and absolute respect.
“We have always welcomed him as a member of the inner chamber of the Ooni’s Palace,” Olafare said.
On the request by a factional group of OPC members on a visit to the Ooni at Ile-Ife recently begging him to intervene in the OPC matters, the Yoruba foremost king admonished all the factions within the Pan-Yoruba group to close ranks and work together as one big family in the interest of unity and peace in Yorubaland.
“Baba said to them to close ranks in the interest of peace and unity of Yorubaland. He assured them of his fatherly support at all time as long as the unity of Yorubaland is not in jeopardy. Kabiyesi, who is slated to tour Europe in May on the invitation of sons and daughters of Oodua, is committed to the emancipation of the race.
“His unwavering and unflinching determination to unite all forces in Yoruba Kingdom both home and in the diaspora is the driving force behind all these,” Olafare added,
The statement also revealed the preparations were on in the palace ahead of a visit of members of the OPC and Oodua Progressive Union as well as the members of Olokun Festival Foundation to Ile-Ife.
The visit is part of the annual Oodua Festival slated for January 25 and 26 in Ile-Ife.
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.
The Commissioner explained that the information of the abducted children was gotten to his office by the D.P.O who stays close to the parents of the abducted kids and action was taken immediately (24hrs).
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, CP, Aderanti stated that the investigative process is a way of preventing kidnappings by employees or fraudulent people.
He further stated that once an employer identifies a potential employee, the police should be contacted to begin an investigation before the employment details are finalised.
He said fingers and thumb prints as well as pictures will be taken and filed after which investigations/ background checks will be carried out, and the employer will be notified if the person is fit or otherwise for the job.
The Commissioner cautioned all parents to be aware of kidnappers disguised as domestic staff, likening it to the kidnap of the 3 children and several others that have been happening in the country.
Mr Aderanti maintained that the police profiling will to ensure prompt investigation within 24 hours with the use of technology to enable the culprit(s) to be tracked.
Use of OPC/Estate Guards
The Commissioner of Police also emphasized the need for a background to be done on any form of guards or security personnel to be used as applied in the case of kidnap.
The Commissioner also spoke on the armed robbery incident that took place in Lekki, saying that the investigation process is still on, adding that the perpetrators will be made public.
Just Concluded Elections
The Commissioner stated that investigations have been carried out on areas where violence broke out but commended the force a being able to curb the crisis and still maintain peace across the state.
Welfare of the Police
He also commended the Inspector General of Police (Suleiman Abba) for holding the interest of the police officers at heart and ensuring that their needs are catered for and called on Nigerians to ensure that they make use of the police toll free line which is 767, 112, or direct line 08127155071 and 08079279349 when emergencies arise.
Yoruba leaders in south-west Nigeria have stressed the need for the rescheduled elections to hold without any delay on March 28 and April 11, expressing their commitment to a smooth transition and purposeful leadership.
After an extensive summit at the historic parliament building in Ibadan on Thursday, it was concluded that no excuse would be entertained for any shift of the date, as it could be a recipe for disaster.
In his address at the Pan Yoruba Summit that, the convener of the conference, General Alani Akinrinade (Rtd), said the summit was necessary because the current leadership had made Yorubas “victims of arrested development, with significant retrogression which must be stopped”.
He expressed hopes that the meeting would arrive at a common narrative that would outline the demand of the Yorubas for development in an emerging Nigeria, with purpose driven goals for regional and national progress.
Retrogressive Measures Of The Government
The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who hosted the event, condemned recent violent protest involving OPC in Lagos. He lamented what he called a state of servitude of his people which made it possible to turn them against one another .
Governor Ajimobi further said that despite the rich historical repertoire of the Yorubas and its contribution to national development, the region had suffered a great deal in the last 16 years of democracy.
The convergence of eminent Sons and Daughters of the Yoruba race at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Buildings Secretariat in Ibadan was called by the Yoruba elders to urgently address issues affecting the growth and unity of the race.
It was an avenue for the Yoruba leaders to register their displeasure with the retrogressive measures of the government at the centre to the south-west and by extension all Yoruba kits and kins across the world.
In a communique signed by the convener at the end of the summit, the elders agreed unequivocally that; elections must hold as scheduled, states must be allowed to grow and prosper at their pace while an end must be put to alienation and repression of the race.
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.
Bob Simon, the “60 Minutes” correspondent and legendary CBS News foreign reporter died on Wednesday night in a car accident in New York City.
The award-winning newsman died at the age of 73.
Simon was born on May 29, 1941, in the Bronx, N.Y., graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University in 1962 with a degree in History. He served as an American Foreign Service officer (1964-67).
Simon is survived by his wife, Françoise, and their daughter, Tanya, her husband, Dr. Evan Garfein, and his grandson Jack, who is described by Fager and Rhodes as “the joy of his life”.
Simon was said to be riding in the back-seat of a livery cab around 6:45p.m. Wednesday on New York City’s West Side Highway when the car rear-ended another vehicle and crashed into barriers separating north- and southbound traffic, the New York Police Department said in a statement.
Unconscious with head and torso injuries, Simon was transported to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital where he died. The livery cab driver was taken to another hospital with injuries to his arms and legs.
Police were investigating but made no arrests.
Simon had received many award in his profession. In 1996, he won more OPC Awards, a Peabody Award and two Emmy Awards for coverage of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin.
CBS News received an RTNDA Overall Excellence in Television Award in 1996 largely because of Simon’s reporting from war-torn Sarajevo.
The rule of law, peace, security and an independent judiciary have been identified as pillars upon which democracy and good governance can only thrive.
At the 2nd International Democracy and Good Governance Conference in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Tekena Tamuno and France’s former Minister of Foreign and European affairs, Dr Bernard Kouchner, stressed the need for the government to be more committed to securing lives and property.
Governor Chibuike Amaechi observed that the leadership of the nation must make conscious efforts in ensuring that these elements were put in place, as it would bring a stable and prosperous nation.
Prof. Tekena argued that “in some countries, there is a recognition that people will talk of ‘one man, one vote’ and stop there; that is not good enough” insisting that “it should be one man, one vote , one value” and noted that “in Nigeria, that is not true. We only have the same value for the rich and the poor in our country”.
He said: “I do know that Boko Haram are not democrats but they are a serious challenge to democracy as we know it and as we practice. I wonder if Nigerians have forgotten that before Boko Haram, there were militants in Nigeria. Still there is MASSOB, OPC and MEND,” he said.
The former vice chancellor asked if Nigerians were ready to redress the balance come 2015 so that the poor would not just be poor but relatively poor people with political power and their votes would count just like those of the wealthy people.
He further noted that the “prospects are not glorious and promising,” insisting that “making everybody subjective to the law in our country has become the rule of men and so you have the impotence of the judiciary in its confrontations with the executives”.
Dr Kouchner, in his remark, noted that “peace and security are number common good because it is the precondition of living in any habitat”.
“Millionaires can hire private security but ultimately, security is the number one function of the state and the government must be empowered and take responsibility to create and maintain peace and security,” Dr Kouchner said.
He noted that “one cannot deny that much has been made of democracy and democratic governance as prescribed by the concept of good governance”maintaining that some African states have adopted mechanisms that enable the political leaders achieve security and peace in the society.
“However many African nations have failed to make the full conditions as the working priority of leadership and government,” he said.
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.