OPC Threatens to Enforce Security if Violence Persists

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Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), a pan-Yoruba security outfit, has said it may be compelled to call out its men to engage with hoodlums to prevent further loss of lives and property in the South-west.

A statement yesterday by Otunba Wasiu Afolabi, OPC Deputy President to the Late Founder, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, called for “an immediate stop to the destruction of lives and billions of Naira worth of property in the South-West.”

Afolabi issued the statement after OPC’s executives held a meeting at the Century Hotel, in Okota-Isolo area of Lagos, to review events of the last few days.

Lamenting the Lekki Tollgate killings on Tuesday and the subsequent wanton destruction of lives and property, Otunba Afolabi (alias “Askari,”) said that rioters should withdraw from the streets and end the era of violence.

OPC also called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to immediately empanel commissions of enquiry at both the federal and state levels to investigate, identify and sanction those behind Tuesday’s shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos.

“Such a heinous crime must not be swept under the carpet; or else we shall be nurturing a licence-to-kill mentality in our military men and security operatives, as well as open up our civilian citizenry to the abuse and impunity of those supposed to protect us,” Afolabi said.

OPC noted that the peaceful conduct of the #EndSARS protests had been hijacked by hoodlums who now found an opportunity to loot, cause mayhem and destroy the economic basis of the region.

“Private businesses, many of whom like OPC, backed the highly credible #EndSARS campaign, should not suffer for the ineptitude of the government and the criminality of evil policemen. And OPC as an organisation will not fold its arms and watch the region turned into the scapegoat of the #EndSARS protests,” the OPC Deputy President said.

However, the organisation noted that every agitation must end on the negotiation table and time had come for campaigners to step back and see whether or not the government would fulfil its promise to end SARS and bring about massive reforms in the police.

Afolabi said: “The #EndSARS campaigns got our unflinching support and we fully backed the protesters. Not only is it their legitimate and constitutionally-guaranteed right to express our collective pain, but indeed and in fact that arm of the Nigeria Police had turned itself into an unruly terrorist clique with clear and verifiable abuses of citizens’ rights to life, movement and liberty. As citizens, those protesting had a duty to denounce SARS and FSARS operatives in order to prevent them from continuing their evil business as usual.”