The Coordinator of the Odua People’s Congress, Gani Adams, has attacked a former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, accusing the All Progressives Congress leader of using the Yoruba as pawn in the pursuit of his selfish political interest.
OPC is a Yoruba socio-cultural organisation and one of other such groups in the South-West supporting President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid.
Mr. Tinubu had earlier said Mr. Adams was contracted by Mr. Jonathan to disrupt the peace of Lagos State. The former governor also urged residents of the state to defend themselves in the event of an attack by the OPC members.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Adams said the former Lagos State had never pursued any agenda in the interest of Yoruba
“How can you claim to be a Yoruba leader or love Yoruba when you have never been part of any socio-cultural organisation?” Mr. Adams asked. “(Mr. Tinubu) became governor with the support of Afenifere but immediately he was elected he divided the group. He wants to use the Yoruba to negotiate for his selfish interests.”
Mr. Tinubu has severally criticised the Federal Government for sustaining a federal structure that does not devolve greater powers to the sub-national governments to bring Nigeria close to true federalism.
The OPC leader said that Tinubu’s pro-federalism advocacy was a subterfuge.
“Tinubu has always criticised the National Conference convoked by President Jonathan last year,” Mr. Adams said. “National Conference report includes much of the principle and content of true federalism which has always been the wish of every true Yoruba socio-cultural group. But Tinubu criticised Confab before it started. Even till now, he continues to criticise the report.
“True federalism as well as restructuring inter-governmental relations in the country to make the constituent units more buoyant and enable them to develop their own resources for the betterment of their people involves process. And the process is the Confab. How do you then want true federalism without supporting the Confab?”
Mr. Adams added that Wednesday’s approval of the final report of 2014 National Conference should be commended by Nigerians, “particularly every progressive Yoruba man”.
He, however, said he had respect for Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State whom he described as “core Yoruba and good leader”, but added, “unfortunately his leader is anti-Yoruba.”
Meanwhile, on Thursday in Ibadan, Oyo State, another South-West group, Yoruba Assembly said the marginalisation of the Yoruba people by the Federal Government became “a deliberate policy” under President Jonathan.
The group is led by the second republic Chief of Defence Staff, Alani Akinrinade.
Against this background, Mr. Adams criticised the credibility of the Yoruba Assembly and its convener, Mr. Akinrinade.
He said the group “does not represent the larger Yoruba interest but APC. What they did in Ibadan yesterday was an APC affair. Most of those of those who went to its sitting were APC members. What is Yoruba Assembly? It is just a group being sponsored by Tinubu and APC. They don’t have structure anywhere. Can you compare them with Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders or OPC? I used to respect Alani Akinrinade until he started backsliding after he could not emerge as the leader of the Yoruba caucus at the conference last year.”