Founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) Dr Frederick Fasehun has assured Igbo and non-indigenes in Lagos State of safety during and after Saturday’s elections.
In a statement by Fasehun following the ‘threat to the lives’ of Igbos by Oba of Lagos Rilwan Akiolu, he said that he had mandated OPC members to ensure that no one is intimidated or molested before, during and after the polls.
“OPC is a frontline group for the defence of Yoruba interests and the dispensation of social justice to sojourners in the South-West. And we shall be doing everything to make everyone feel safe throughout the duration of the electoral process, before, during and after voting.”
He said that the organisation would cooperate with security agencies on Saturday to guarantee the safety of all voters, indigenes and non-indigenes alike within and outside Lagos.
“Yoruba cherishes its republican and cosmopolitan outlook, and this cannot be abridged by anybody and any institution. OPC will continue to maintain its position of defending people’s liberty, including the freedom to vote for parties and candidates of their choice.”
Fasehun warned that “any attempt to make people think, decide and vote the same way is not only draconian, it is unrealistic and futile. The minority must have its say, but the majority must have its way.”
He argued that rather than viewing the different people it harbours as a threat, Lagos needed to express pride in being home to many different tribes and cultures.
“Yoruba welcome strangers. Yoruba people are accommodating and hospitable, which is why land and business holding here is not discriminatory.
“And this reflects in our politics, where we have strong parties and candidates equally competing for public office.
“In the First, Second and Third Republics, key Yoruba politicians did not converge on one political platform, but had equal showing in the ruling parties as well as in the opposition parties at all levels. That is the beauty of Yoruba politics,” he stated.
He urged politicians to embrace peace and not drag the traditional institution into politics.
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