The factional leader of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress, Gani Adams, has said that the group is a legitimate organisation recognised by the United Nations.
Mr. Adams spoke, Wednesday, at the Nigeria Humanitarian Summit organised by his Gani Adams Foundation in Lagos.
“We are not a terrorist organisation. We don’t do kidnapping, we don’t bomb government installations, we are a self-determination group,” Mr. Adams said.
“When you ask for your rights from the state, they use different machinery to paint you in a bad light.”
Mr. Adams’ statement came following increased criticism of the OPC after media reports that four members of the group gang-raped a 30 year-old-woman in Lagos.
But the OPC, in a statement, denied any involvement in the incident.
“The OPC in clear term dissociated our members from the alleged nefarious activities and the police in Alapere police station and the Lagos State Police Command have absolved members of our organisation from the allegedly dastardly act,” the group said in a statement signed by Azeez Jimoh, OPC Coordinator in Agboyi Ketu local council.
“It is germane at this point to emphasise that no member of the OPC has been arrested in connection with the said alleged rape and this can be verified with the police at Alapere police station and the state police command public relations officer.
“As a responsible organisation, we would have resorted to instituting a legal proceeding, but in appreciation of the cordial relationship between the OPC and the media in Nigeria, we have decided to thread the friendly part but put the record straight.”
Last year, some members of the group were accused of brutalising and raping two women in Ejigbo – the recorded incident saw the men rubbing ground pepper on the eyes and genital of one of the victims.
On Wednesday, Mr. Adams said that the OPC in conjunction with his foundation are also involved in humanitarian activities, including visits to the less privileged, disabled, and orphanage homes.
”Our intervention is not limited to visits; our foundation has also instituted skill acquisition programmes for youths and other economically vulnerable members of our society,” said Mr. Adams.
“In fact, before the end of this month, we hope to give vocational training to more than 40 young people through our Academy for Innovative Arts and Technology.
“We have also made cash and material donations to more than 200 widows in Nigeria on humanitarian ground. Given these areas of intervention, we are poised to achieve more by extending the frontiers of humanitarian intervention.”