3rd January, 2022
By Adeyemi Adeleye
The O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC) has dissociated itself from a coalition of 57 Yoruba groups allegedly rooting for South-West pro-restructuring presidential candidate in 2023.
OPC Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Oguntimehin, in a statement, denied the involvement of Aare Gani Adams in the mega accord, saying such moves were purely fraudulent and very far from the truth.
Oguntimehin urged the groups to stop using the name of OPC for petty political mileage, saying OPC was not among the 57 Yoruba groups that met in Lagos at the weekend to mobilise the South-West for Tinubu, Osinbajo or Fayemi’s presidency.
OPC was listed among those behind the mega accord of 57 Yoruba civil society groups that met in Lagos recently with a resolve to mobilise the South-West for a pro-restructuring presidential candidate in 2023.
The meeting was reportedly presided over by a journalist, Mr Adewale Adeoye, while the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting was signed by Messrs Sunday Akinnuoye, Femi Agbana and Mrs Ganiat Toriola.
The groups noted that they were aware of presidential aspirants like Dr Kayode Fayemi, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
They vowed to ensure that the 2023 presidential election produces a candidate that would restructure the country and resolve the lingering National Question irrespective of political platform.
But Oguntimehin said that OPC under the leadership of Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams had, at no time, mobilise the group for any politician, insisting that the group’s interest is beyond the 2023 general elections.
“Including OPC’s name without specific name attached to the purported arrangement of 57 South-West groups rooting for a South-West presidential candidate was a fraud and illegal because we are not a party to a meeting.
“There was no visual or audio content of how, when or where the meeting was held, only for us to see the story in the papers.
“We are aware that when elections are approaching, some politicians usually use the OPC’s name to curry favours.
“There are some groups that are affiliates of political parties that usually make themselves available for politicians as at when due,” he said.
According to him, those groups masquerading as OPC members have no programme or activities that they are known for.
“Even if anything happens in Yoruba land, you don’t hear their voices, except, occasionally, during elections or when they are paid to issue statements against us.
“So, I enjoin whoever that is behind the arrangement to toe the right path and be specific in attaching OPC’s name to any political accord.
“Anybody or group using our name without proper attachment or specification amounts to fraud and we will handle such in the most conventional manner,” Oguntimehin added.