Prominent Yoruba socio cultural organisation, the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has disassociated itself from the presidential ambition of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former governor of Lagos state Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and others of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South West region.
To buttress its position, the OPC warned those behind the Mega Accord of 57 civil society groups rooting Tinubu in the 2023 presidential race to stop using the name of the OPC for petty political mileage.
The group sounded the warning in a statement issued on Monday by its Publicity Secretary, Yinka Oguntimehin.
OPC denied the involvement of its leader Aare Gani Adams who is the generisimo of the entire Yorubaland from the mega accord, saying such moves are purely fraudulent and very far from the truth.
He added that the group was not among the 57 Yoruba groups that met in Lagos at the weekend to mobilise the South West for a presidency to be headed by Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; and the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Oguntimehin stated further that the OPC under the leadership of Iba Adams had, at no time, mobilised the group for any politician, insisting that the group’s interest was beyond the 2023 general elections.
He said Nigeria’s problem can only be solved through restructuring in such a way that the regions and the six federating units are allowed to develop at their own pace, as it was in the 1960 and 1963 constitutions.
He said: “Including OPC’s name without specific name attached to the purported arrangement of 57 South West groups rooting for a southwest 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.
“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.”
The OPC Publicity Scribe gave reasons for backing restructuring as the only way to secure the future of the country.
Oguntimehin said: “Transition from one government to another through credible, free and fair elections may be good for our democracy, but the issue of rising agitations and conflicts can only be treated and addressed through restructuring.
“Even if an angel emerges the president of this nation today, without restructuring, nothing will change for better.
“Our position on the future of Nigeria is clearly stated in our belief in restructuring.
“That is why we root for regionalism as the best option for peace and stability in the polity.
“If the federating units and various regions that make up Nigeria are allowed to develop at their own pace as it was in the1960 and 1963 constitutions, there is no doubt that Nigeria will prosper and be great again.
“That is our position on the future of this country.”