Friday, 4 December 2015

OPC Warns Against Staging Biafra Protest In South West

The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has warned Biafra protesters not to move their campaign to the south western part of the country as they would not stand by and watch the region turned into ‘a theatre of war’.

There have been a lot of protests staged by some Igbo people calling for an independent Biafra with the latest being a violent protest in Onitsha that resulted in the death of nine civilians and two police officers.

Daily Trust reports that in a statement made available by the national coordinating council of the Yoruba group and signed by Comrade Akinpelu Adeshina, in Ibadan on Friday, December 4, the group said the heightened security situation in the country necessitated the warning.

Part of the statement read: “We see the attempt to bring the World Igbo Day celebration – in whatever guise – which is normally celebrated on the 29th September annually to the Yorubaland as a mischievous and diabolically crafted attempt to cause chaos in and destabilize Yorubaland; and this we will repulse and reject with everything at our disposal.

“As much as we believe in the right of every person and group to self-determination, we are of the firm belief that this particular event is mischievously conceived and earmarked to be hosted in any part of Yorubaland.

“It is true that the Yoruba are a liberal, peaceful and accommodating people, yet we are no fools and should not be treated as fools.

“The South West part of Nigeria is the most secure and peaceful part of Nigeria today and should therefore not be turned into a theatre of war or avoidable crisis.

“For too long, the Yoruba have accommodated all other tribes and nationalities like good hosts.  We have not minded the odium and other atrocities committed against our people, and on our ancestral land.

“During the last election campaigns, it was the height of all insults when the Igbos in Lagos derided and mudsling our highly revered traditional rulers, particularly the Oba of Lagos.  Never in history has it been recorded that a Yoruba person or group crossed the Niger River into either the northern or eastern part of the country to go and vilify, desecrate or insult any of their paramount rulers for political or any other reasons.

“The leeway to do business and own properties which the Igbo and other nationalities enjoy in Yorubaland has not been reciprocated for the Yoruba elsewhere, thus it would only be fair to warn anyone or group that if our relationship cannot be mutually beneficial, it should in no way be injurious to us as a people.”

Meanwhile, governors of the 19 northern states of Nigeria called on those agitating for a separate country to tread the path of caution.