Founder of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has called for the immediate release of Chief Olu Falae, who was kidnapped on Monday in Akure, Ondo State, on his 77th birthday.
Fasehun who was also born on September 21 like Falae, but three years older than the politician, said in Lagos yesterday that he had ordered OPC operatives to immediately launch a manhunt to rescue him.
Fasehun described the kidnap as an assault and insult on the Yoruba people. He, therefore, challenged security operatives and agencies to produce Falae within 48 hours.
Falae’s kidnappers have demanded a ransom of N100 million
“OPC is not interested in crisis but it was founded primarily for the protection of its own and for building bridges in Nigeria,” Fasehun said in a statement.
“All lovers of Nigerian unity like OPC, communal peace and national progress must rise up to this challenge.”
“At my turning 80, the entire world would expect me to be a bridge builder. And I have prepared myself to be just that. But if any missile is thrown at you, and it is likely to affect your eyeball, you must avoid it at all costs. This is my view of the insult now being unleashed, being flung at Nigeria by the enemies of Nigeria’s unity.”
Fasehun stated further: “When we heard that Falae was kidnapped we thought it was impossible, as kidnappers would not be mad enough to kidnap a man of peace, a man who has selflessly served Nigeria,” he said.
“Falae is by any standard a leader of the Yoruba people, a leader of Nigeria and a significant leader in Africa. He is a leader of Afenifere. He was a leader of NADECO. And any assault on him is an assault on Nigeria and Nigerians.”
Fasehun also expressed disappointment that a say after the incident, the Federal Government was yet to officially react to the incident.
“Over 24 hours after this disruption of the life of a dignitary, government has not issued any statement; rather what we hear is a loud silence from the Federal Government. It is a shame; it is a big shame,” he said.
Recalling that Falae, as the Olu of Oba-Ile, was the ruling monarch of his homestead. He, therefore, urged all traditional rulers in Nigeria to also rise up for his release.
“We believe this is a political issue. And any politician in Nigeria must make sure that Chief Olu Falae is released immediately,” he said. “Otherwise OPC will take any step available to defend its own.”
In the meantime, the OPC Founder has summoned all members in the country to attend an emergency meeting on Sunday.