Why OPC Can No Longer Protect S/West Against Rampaging Herdsmen – Gani Adams

gani-adamsThe Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) may not be able to provide adequate security for people of the Southwest against rampaging Fulani herdsmen, national coordinator of the group, Otunba Gani Adams, has said.
He, therefore, called on people of the Southwest states to be on guard and ready to defend themselves against any attack by the herdsmen, which he noted, continued unabated.
Mr. Adams, who spoke at a lecture organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State Council, to commemorate the 2016 Democracy Day, disclosed that negative comments from Yoruba people over the activities of the OPC has demoralized the group and weakened its resolve to protect the race.
The OPC leader, who was guest lecturer at the event, spoke on the theme: “Herdsmen/ Fulani clashes: What implication for inter-Ethnic Relations/ Nigerian Economy?”
According to Adams, members of the OPC lost the zeal to protect the people because its members were branded touts, thugs and terrorists by the same Yoruba race.
He noted that they were only recognised during elections, but once the politicians got into office, they (OPC) were discarded.
He also lamented that some traditional rulers did not encourage OPC’s existence in their communities.
“Religion has taken away traditional means of protection from the people in Yoruba land”, Adams said, adding “When one is too fanatic about religious, it brings shame. Religion is good, but when it becomes fanatic, it brings ridicule”.
The OPC leader continued: “If we are being moderate in our religions in Yorubaland – be it Christian, Muslim or traditional – who dares bring attack into our communities?
“But Yoruba people are being hypocritical about traditional protections”.
Mr. Adams, therefore, urged the people to use whatever traditional object they have to protect themselves and their communities, stressing that the first law in heaven is “self-defence”.
Reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment that the 2014 National Conference report would be kept in the archives, the OPC leader described it as insulting.
He stressed that only the implementation of confab report would bring lasting solutions to the crisis facing the country.
He said: “Before you think that I am exaggerating, consider this: between 2010 and 2013, according to a report, Fulani herdsmen killed about 80 people. However, by 2014, they had slaughtered 1,229 people.
“When you consider the Global Terrorism Index, you discover that Fulani herdsmen are Number Four on the list of the deadliest terror groups in the world.
“Boko Haram, of course, takes the first position. As noted by a recent report, over 2,000 people were killed in conflicts between the herdsmen and different host communities in 2015 alone.
“In comparison, the regular Boko Haram kills 2,500 people annually. In a situation where a group of supposed herdsmen carry sophisticated weapons and wipe out entire communities, the unity of the Nigerian nation is indeed threatened.
“Those of us who attended the 2014 National Conference know that Nigeria cannot make any progress without implementing the report of that conference.
“If we do this (implement the report), we will have a decisive framework for dealing with issues such as the one addressed in this brief lecture.
“Until the report is implemented, we will just be going round in circles and life in Nigeria will continue to be nasty, short and brutish. The time to change our path is now”.