A Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu said: a�?The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.a�? Such is the case with Oodua Peoples Congress, New Era. An OPC faction which is known today as New Era came into being on March 16, 2015, at a time when the good name of OPC was about to be smeared and rubbished by Gani Adams. It became a child of necessity when the greed of former OPC leader was about to consume the Yoruba pressure group.
How OPC New Era Came Into Being
On March 16, 2015, Oodua Peoplea��s Congress (OPC) under Gani Adams led a group of OPC members he described as the a�?Coalition for Concerned Nigeriansa�? to protest against Prof. Attahiru Jega, the then chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria.
The protest which was nothing but political was sponsored by former President Goodluck Jonathan and paralyzed commercial activities in some parts of Lagos and also led to breakdown of law and order in some areas. While explaining the motive for the protest then, Adams said he wanted Jega removed on March 24th 2015 because according to him, Jega would not be able to hold a free and fair election.
But to some of us in the know and like it is often said that: a�?there will be no smoke without firea��, Gani Adams action then was based on the fact that he took money from former President Goodluck Jonathan who as at that time was desperate to win the 2015 presidential election. Speaking further on the motive behind the rally, Gani Adams was again economical with truth. He never admitted receiving any money from Jonathan but only admitted that OPC had been awarded a a�?Pipeline Protectiona�? contract that would see him employ 15,000 Yoruba youths. Sensing the damage Gani Adamsa�� action could do to entire OPC members and Yoruba people, we immediately issued a statement disassociating OPC from the anti-Jega rally.
We believe that OPC as a Yoruba pressure group should be non-partisan and that Adams must not sacrifice the entire Yoruba race on the altar of politics.
The Statement We Issued On Anti-Jega Rally By Gani Adams Then
We, the members of the National Coordinating Council of the Oodua Peoplea��s Congress, OPC, the highest ruling body of the organization, wish to disassociate ourselves from the shameful, destructive, violent and reactionary activities of the Gani Adam-led team which occurred in Lagos today. What was witnessed today in Lagos was the highest level of political violence sponsored and funded by certain elements in the Jonathan government.
Gani Adams is on his own and does not enjoy the support of a large size of our membership spread across the country. He is working for the sponsors of violence against our people who want the March 28 elections not to hold. Unleashing terror on innocent citizens and killing them is not the way of democracy. It is not our idea of a people-oriented advocacy.
Gani Adams is on dubious project. He is using the Pipeline contract from the Jonathan government as a ploy or excuse to recruit people to work for Jonathan and PDP in the South West. Gani Adams is acting against Yoruba interest. The compromises he has made amounts to selling the Yoruba to the present government for a piece of Pipeline contract to line his pockets. OPC is not about Pipeline contracts or any other contracts for that matter. The Yoruba interest is beyond contracts. We seek justice and fairness from the current government.
We, members of the National Coordinating Council of the Odua Peoplea��s Congress, OPC, call all true Yoruba leaders, sons and daughters to stand with us in totally condemning Gani and his anti-democratic tendencies. We must renounce him and remind him he cannot sell the Yoruba race to Jonathan and PDP on the cheap. He also has no authority to speak on behalf of the Yoruba people. We pity those who rely on him to win votes. They will be sorely disappointed. Their investment is a bad one already. We reject today and always any attempt to use our organization and its members for narrow and selfish partisan purposes.
We must remind them that the Yoruba people cannot be hoodwinked by sweeteners. No one will expect the larger Yoruba people to follow an individual who is a Lilliputian in the political development and history of the Yoruba nation. The Yorubas are politically sophisticated people and will simply ignore political opportunist like Gani Adams. We renounce him and his activities which are against the larger Yoruba interest. We renounce all other Yoruba sons and daughters who are playing roles inimical to the welfare and interest the larger Yoruba nation.
We call on our people to be vigilant politically at this time. Nigeria needs a new leadership, a new direction and a country that works.
Refusal Of Gani Adams To Handover After His Removal By National Coordinating Council Of OPC
It is on record that we made several efforts to make Adams understand that the motives for setting up OPC which does not involve active politicking even when members are at liberty to vote for any candidates of their choice without any cohesion or undue influence.
Adams was not ready to listen but rather branded us as expelled members of the OPC. We also reached out to several Yoruba leaders to call Adams to order to no avail.
Rather than listen and correct his mistake Adams threw decency into the mud and even made efforts to kill some of us who challenged his tyrannical tendencies.That prompted the National Coordinating Council of OPC to pass vote of no confidence on Adams. His refusal to step down brought about the formation of OPC New Era.
Few Of The Many Atrocities Of The New Aare Gani Adams
While many people might have been deceived into believing that Gani Adams is a man of integrity; we can prove it with evidences and instances that the new Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba is indeed a con artist and a morally bankrupt individual. Here is a man who has over the years used OPC to amass wealth at the detriment of the majority of members. Gani Adams who through treachery brought about divisions in OPC and has even perpetrated worst crimes than what he accused Dr Fredrick Faseun of.
Here is a man who is not just romancing with politics, but has fully plunged into it head over heels. Unfortunately, he is so consumed by so much greed that he has not brought any commensurate gain to the organization, as he is the only one buying houses and many luxury cars, while the average member remains pauperized.One wonders how a man who had on several occasions refused to respond to the allegations of misappropriation of OPC funds among other sundry allegations leveled against him would be made an Aare of Yorubaland? Has the title becomes so cheap that a charlatan like Gani Adams could be made to become Aare Ona Kakanfo? Time will definitely show the kind of person Gani is because no amount of bath can change the spots on leopard skin.
Rather than the empty boasts and campaigns of calumny he has been waging against OPC New Era in the press, Adams should do the needful and come clean with the OPC funds and assets now that he is Aare. Apart from the fact that Adams has used OPC to his own advantage all these years, the Oodua Progressive Union (OPU) is yet another avenue through which Adams has started using to swindle people in the Diaspora. The question is, how many meetings have the leaders of the OPC at home had with leaders and cadre of the affiliated OPU since Adams came up with this idea which is nothing more than a con venture?
Secondly, and as stated earlier, Gani Adams does not realize that there is a difference between his person and the OPC as a group. This much has been exposed by his refusal to step down as OPC leader even after becoming Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. A con man of the century; Adams is yet to explain why Gani Adams Foundation (GAF) has become part of the OPC? Millions of OPC funds have in the past been squandered on Adams birthdays and philandering activities without any returns or benefits to the members.
On the landed property at 13 Olusoga Street, Mushin, Lagos which Adams alleged he personally donated to the OPC in 2004, nothing could be farther from the truth than this bare-faced lie. The land has been the venue of our weekly meeting since the late 1990s. It is the scene of many skirmishes with law enforcement agents. Because of its intrinsic value to the OPC and its early history, a decision was made to acquirethe land for the organization. This was done with the aid of one Pa. Augusto of Lawanson area, Lagos for the princely sum of four million naira which was contributed by members of the OPC. This was augmented with funds from the money from a job the OPC executed at Oke-Alo area, Anthony Village, Lagos as against the claims of Oguntimehin and his boss. There are many living witnesses to that transaction and we challenge Gani Adams to prove otherwise.
Our Achievements In The Last Three Years And Focus
Our greatest achievement as a pressure group in the last three years is in our efforts at making OPC one without factions. To the glory of God and humanity, we have in the last three years created avenue where all factions of OPC can become one. We can say today that OPC New Era and OPC Reformed are working together and leading a process that will eventually put an end to factions in OPC.
OPC New Era has made history by formally ending war of attrition between two OPC factions. This was done without any external mediation or intervention. Unfortunately, under the leadership of our former leaders -Faseun and Adams, ego and personal aggrandizement prevented the attainment of this harmonisation despite concerted efforts of many well meaning Yoruba leaders and royal fathers. Not even Ooni and Alaafin could prevail on the two leaders then. The duo of Faseun and Adams due to selfish interests frustrated many peace moves brokered by some governors especially the one made by former Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun state.
We pray to God to grant eternal rests to our departed brothers and sisters who lost their lives during the supremacy battle between Faseun and Adams.
Our focus now will be on consistency. We are glad that unlike the schism between Faseun Adams and which led to a lot of unnecessary carnage and disruption of public peace, we have engaged the bloodthirsty goon intellectually and in the process, advanced the cause of peace.
We have also embarked on fence mending with the Reformed OPC group as well as engaging other Yoruba self-determination groups with a view to fashioning out a common front for engaging common interests.
We now place emphasis on utilitarianism rather than the parochialism hitherto practiced under Faseun and Adams and we thank Eledumare that this has been yielding fruit; collectively as a group as well as for individual members.
In the last three years we have also made protection of Yorubaland our greatest priority. We will continue to defend Yorubaland against any kind of attacks and we use this medium to warn the marauding Fulani herdsmen to stay away from Yorubaland.
Lastly, we want to use this medium to express our appreciation to prominent Yoruba leaders and all Yoruba Obas who have identified with OPC New Era and who have also supported our move at harmonizing various OPC factions.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)