Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has said that the Oodua Peoples` Congress (OPC), a Yoruba ethnic militia group, was more reliable for the protection of the Yoruba people of South Western Nigeria than the conventional police.
The Governor made the remark on Saturday in Lagos at the 80th birthday celebration of Dr Frederick Fasehun, the founder of OPC.
Mimiko who noted that OPC’s formation was one of the many legacies of Fasehun, said: “You founded OPC, today, I tell you in Yoruba land that many Yoruba people will feel secure with OPC guarding their streets than the conventional police.
“It is not yet over; you struggled for democracy for this country; the second part of it is indeed the struggle for restructuring Nigeria into true federal states.
“One thing is clear and I have always said this that OPC is about protection of Yoruba people, because Yoruba people hate injustice.’’
Also speaking at the occasion, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, rtd,a former Chief Security of Officer (CSO) to former Head of State,the late General Sani Abacha, described Fasehun as “large-hearted, a bridge-builder, brave, dependable, fearless and knowledgeable.”
Al-Mustapha noted that Fasheun had done so much for his people and across the country, something which is beyond quantification, adding that the octogenarian“has the capacity, the wisdom and the large heart to build bridges of peace in Nigeria.”
Responding, Fasehun who announced his retirement from partisan politics at the occasion, said the celebration was organised to build bridges as it brought different ethnic groups in Nigeria together, adding that he would like to be regarded as elder statesman.
He said: “I give up placard-carrying; every Nigerian is my brother, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and others. All of us should be committed to bridge-building; henceforth, I will be an advocate of peace to all.
“We have not noticed the possible aspect of change but 100 days is too short. We want Nigerians to be patient; we want to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to concentrate on governance.
“Our country needs to be re-organised and that is why I feel very happy that many ethnic nationalities are here because we want to use this opportunity to start bridge-building in this country.“
The OPC Leader also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to focus more attention towards improving youth education,noting that by so doing, it will go a long way in promoting national unity and stem the current tide of insecurity in Nigeria.