[Guardian] YORUBA self-determination militia group, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) has asked its northern-based Boko Haram to restrict its insurgency to its region and steer clear of the Southwest.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Founder and President of the Congress, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, the group said, although Boko Haram’s current agitation justified OPC’s age-long demand for a Sovereign National Conference, the OPC would view any attempt to export violence into the South-West as declaration of war.
The country, according to Fasehun, has been experiencing muscle-flexing that has led to the death of many citizens in the north.
“But since such muscle-flexing is not pitching geographical zones against one another, OPC has always felt that Nigeria’s current crisis has not assumed warfare proportions.
“We sympathise with those who have causes to struggle for. However, we believe that local struggles for social-justice should be contained within local boundaries. Any extension beyond such boundaries clearly connotes the pursuing of a territorial ambition; and any people provoking other people through territorial ambition should ultimately expect a war. And in warfare, everything and anything is fair.”
Saying that OPC’s message should be clear to sponsors of the ongoing violence in certain parts of the country, Fasehun said, “they should not unnecessarily jeopardise their own lives, their businesses and their other interests in the places where they currently enjoy peace. Yoruba people are not unaware of their addresses and their business interests throughout the South-West. A word is enough for the wise.”
He stressed that the Yoruba people have elected to live in peace and harmony with other ethnic nationalities. “But we will do everything necessary to protect and defend our land and people from external aggression.
“Let it be clear to everybody in this country that the Yoruba people have no territorial ambition. But we shall defend our territorial integrity with all available means,” Fasehun said.
He also recalled that, last year, the bodies of graduates, of Yoruba ethnic extraction, serving the country in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) were brought home, after being killed in the post-election violence. “OPC takes this opportunity to alert governors of the South-West on the need to take immediate measures to preempt and prevent the killing of our youths participating in the NYSC. The same advice goes to Yoruba indigenes residing in the North; they must do the needful to avoid danger overtaking them in that land,” Fasehun said.