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The Oodu’a People Frontiers (OPF) has reacted to the recent threat to the North by the Oodu’a People’s Congress (OPC) for contesting the National Assembly leadership sharing formula announced by the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recently.
The APC had recently announced that it zoned the elective offices for the incoming National Assembly (NASS) to individuals from various zones of the country, which sparked controversy and led to a rejection of the party’s zoning formula in most parts of the country as different geopolitical zones, including the North, have insisted on contesting various elective principal offices ahead of NASS inauguration in June irrespective of the zoning arrangement by the ruling party.
Reacting to the threat by the OPC, the Convener of the Oodu’a People Frontiers, Comrade Moses Oluwasegun Odewale, in a statement described the action of as the OPC as not a reflection of the the overall views of the Yourubas of the South West Nigeria.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been called to an unfortunate piece of news about the Oodu’a People’s Congress issuing threats to the North for contesting the National Assembly leadership sharing formula announced by the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress recently.
“We feel obligated to react to the action of the OPC for various reasons in order to first of all clear the Yoruba nation for whom OPC claims to speak.
“This threat by the OPC, we dare say, is in no way representative of the views of the decent Yoruba nation and should not be seen as such.
“If anything, the threats, though empty and unsolicited, are embarrassing, shameful and only expose the inconsistencies of the OPC and other groups like the Afenifere that pose as representatives of the entire Yoruba nation”, the OPF said.
The group noted that “by making it look like they are protecting their son, the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the OPC has ended up exposing him in particular and the South West several political vulnerabilities in the future.
“Whether OPC, Afenifere or any other group from any region wants to believe it or not, available facts and figures prove that the North is majorly responsible for the emergence of the Asiwaju as APC flag bearer and to his eventual victory at the polls.
“We cannot forget so quickly that eleven APC governors of Northern Nigerian states stood firmly against all odds and ensured that power moved to the South and to the South West in particular, which paved way for Tinubu’s emergence.
“And there is no disputing the fact that Tinubu’s final victory at the polls was secured by the northern votes which made up 60 percent of the total votes he got, far and above what he got in the South West.
“And facts of history have shown how the North had been consistent with its support for a Yoruba presidency even at the expense of candidates from the North”,
Going down memory lane, the Oodu’a People Frontiers recalled that xuring the 1993 elections, Bashorun Abiola contested on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), “partly due to the influence of a northern force presented by the late General Shehu Yar’Adua.
“And at the polls, the Northern votes comprehensively went to Abiola to ensure his success over their own son, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, a prominent, respected personality.
“Record shows that of the 6.6 million votes that had been announced before the annulment, Tofa had received 2.3 million and Abiola 4.3 million of which more than half came from the North.
“Abiola won all the states of the south-west; three of the seven states in the south-east; five of the nine northern states including Kano, Tofa’s state; and four out of the seven states in the central middle belt.
“This gesture was replicated when Olusegun Obasanjo was released from prison by the northern establishment, made a candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party by the northern elite and voted to the presidency by the northern voters in 1999.
“On all these three occasions such self-professed Yoruba protection groups as the Afenifere and OPC was no where visible, in fact they only surfaced after the June 12 annulment to bask in the glory of what they did participate in.
“Also in 1999, Afenifere and the OPC led the Yoruba nation to favour Olu Falae while the North worked for Obasanjo’s victory against their son.
“And this time around, Afenifere openly declared opposition to Tinubu, OPC was missing in the field while the North did all the work.
“It is therefore the peak of insanity, shamelessness and ingratitude for the OPC or any Southwest group to reward the North with threats in the false presence of defending their son whom they rejected earlier.
“By this, we wish to emphatically dissociate the decent Yoruba nation from these threats to the North in particular and to any other section of the country.
“We condemn with all our might the uncivilized action of OPC that threatens the long standing political friendship that exists between the North and what is today the South West.
“We call on the President-elect not to fall for the dirty game of the OPC and Afenifere which only aims to pitch him against his most reliable traditional political allies.
“The Asiwaju should as much as possible distance himself from agents of destabilisation operating in various guises and instead concentrate on governance and the task of nation-building with justice and equity to all”, the Oodu’a group stated.