YORUBA socio-cultural group, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), has asked indigenes and non-indigenes in the South-West to exercise no fear over Saturday’s polls, saying their security is guaranteed.
In a press statement on Wednesday, OPC founder and president, Dr Frederick Fasehun, assured that he had mandated his members to ensure that no one was intimidated or molested before, during and after the polls.
He said anybody or any group threatening violence against indigenes or non-indigenes would have OPC to contend with.
“OPC is a frontline group for the defence of Yoruba interests and the dispensation of social justice to sojourners in the South-West. And we shall be doing everything to make everyone feel safe throughout the duration of the electoral process, before, during and after voting,” he said.
Fasehun’s statement was released to media houses in Lagos on Wednesday, against the backdrop of recent statements by the paramount ruler of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, that Igbo people and other non-indigenes voting against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, would incur his wrath and have themselves to blame.
The OPC founder said the organisation would cooperate with security agencies on Saturday to guarantee the safety of all voters, indigenes and non-indigenes alike, within and outside Lagos.
“Yoruba cherishes its republican and cosmopolitan outlook, and this cannot be abridged by anybody and any institution,” he said, adding that “OPC will continue to maintain its position of defending people’s liberty, including the freedom to vote for parties and candidates of their choice.”
Meanwhile, the OPC has also warned against the use of denigrating comments against the paramount ruler of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.
In a statement issued by the national coordinating council of OPC, Monsuru Akande, the congress warned those involved to desist from such unbecoming acts forthwith.
The group, in the statement, further noted that the institution of the Oba was one the Yoruba race held in high esteem, adding that the OPC, as “irredentist defenders” of Yoruba culture and heritage, would, therefore, not tolerate anybody, irrespective of their places of birth, denigrating what their hosts (Yorubas) hold sacred.
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“While we accept that the institution should remain non-partisan, it must also be acknowledged that the palace of the Oba of Lagos has already claimed that the royal father was misrepresented in the press and pleaded for understanding,” the group further said in the statement. (Nigerian Tribune)