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OPC chides Dambazau over comparison with Boko Haram 

By Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan and Adamu Abuh, Abuja 
11 April 2021   |   4:13 am
The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), yesterday, chided former Chief of Army Staff and immediate past Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdurahman Dambazau for comparing the Yoruba rights...

[FILE PHOTO] Abdurrahaman Dambazau

YAF Urges Peaceful Coexistence In Southwest
The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), yesterday, chided former Chief of Army Staff and immediate past Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdurahman Dambazau for comparing the Yoruba rights group with Boko Haram, saying the former (COAS) is suffering from acute dementia and gradually losing touch with realities of the moment.

It would be recalled that Dambazau said the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and OPC shared similarities with the insurgent Boko Haram. He added that both OPC and IPOB were making attempts to plunge the nation into ethnic war.

But reacting to the statement, the Publicity Secretary of OPC, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, condemned the incoherent comparison, pointing out that such statements were capable of heating up the polity and disrupting national peace. Oguntimehin also described Dambazau as a northern irredentist and extremist, popularly noted for his unguarded statements and utterances.

He said: “… Dambazau’s statement that OPC and IPOB are very much the same as the dreaded Boko Haram was made in bad faith, and such statements have raised some fundamental questions about his intentions, interests and morality as a former COAS and minister of Interior that has allegedly been supporting bandits by offering them both financial and technical support.

“Such high profile ex-military officer cannot be trusted in the fight against insurgency because he had on several occasions pleaded on their behalf.

“In 2014, before the general election, Dambazau and four other top Northern leaders had their hands in the recruitment of bandits into the country. And when he eventually became the minister of Interior under President Muhammadu Buhari, he requested and pleaded that the Federal Government should raise over N800b to settle the bandits; a request that was opposed by Nigerians”.

“So, for such a person to have said OPC is the same as Boko Haram is not only derogatory, but is also most unfortunate to say the least. Boko Haram is adjudged globally as the third most dreaded terrorist groups in the world.

And up till today, it remains as such with various cases of killings across the North…”

The OPC image-maker said the group had since its existence in 1994 remains one of the most dependable organisations that have been defending the interest of Southwest people.

“OPC has never been involved in any act of insurgency, including kidnapping or killings. Our group has been at the vanguard of supporting the Police and providing information that can help the Police in ensuring effective security at the grassroots…”

Meanwhile, the Yoruba Appraisal Forum (YAF) has enjoined Nigerians living in the Southwest to eschew acts capable of breaching the country’s peace.

YAF’s National Coordinator, Adeshina Animashaun enjoined those fanning embers of discord in the region to retrace their steps in the country’s interest. The group said the call was based on information at its disposal that troublemakers have begun to mobilise youths in the region for more violent protests and bloody confrontation with government and security agents, all in the bid to raise tension and create violent atmosphere in the Southwest.

Frowning at the ethnic profiling of Northerners and campaigns of calumny against Nigerians of Fulani ethnic stock in the region, YAF challenged security agencies to unmask both the local and foreign sponsors of those fomenting violence in the region.