By Cyriacus Nnaji
Odua People’s Congress (OPC) on Saturday at NITEL Training Ground, Oshodi, Lagos, kick-started what many described as a posthumous honour of their Founder and Leader, the late (Dr.) Frederick Fasehun by organizing for him the 1st Annual Lecture which marked the one year anniversary of the demise of the late sage and leader, CYRIACUS NNAJI reports.
The 1st Annual Lecture of the late Fredrick Isiotan Fasehun attracted the best in the land, including the political heavy weight, the former president and Commander in Chief of federal republic of Nigeria and current president of Retired Head of States and ex-Presidents.
Historically OPC came into existence 25 years ago in Yoruba land; it is a non-partisan socio-cultural group crusading for social justice and the rule of law; it has come out severally to defend ideas whenever they are threatened. Keynote achievements of OPC include successfully pushing for Yoruba monopoly of the contest for Nigeria’s Presidency in 1999, the successful crusade against impeachment of President Olusegun Obasanjo by the National Assembly in 2004; the successful demand for Amnesty for Niger Delta patriots, among others.
Current President of OPC, Aare Prince Osibote in his address said “We celebrate a man whose vision and legacies have outlived him. We must beware of OPC impostors whose postures are at variant with that of Fasehun’s vision. Vision on its own is not enough; hard work, focus, dedication, and loyalty are required to translate a vision to reality.”
Osibote gave reason for the convocation of the 1st Annual Lecture by OPC, “We in the mainstream OPC are assailed by requests and pressure from well meaning Nigerians and other critical stakeholders to reinvigorate the machinery of OPC as a viable bridge-builder and reconciliatory agent. This is one of the objectives of this lecture.”
On the insecurity in the land, he said “We are saddened by the state of insecurity in the land. The challenge is exacerbated by unbridled poverty, illiteracy and ignorance, couple with lack of vision and character by a section of Nigerian political class. We fritted away ample opportunities that came our way to consolidate on our strength, human capacities and natural endowments. Rather than building enduring institutions, we have allowed individuals to establish fortresses, built business empires and deploy their affluence to hijack the political space and the economic corridors.
“We need a paradigm shift from the degradation, rot and decadence before our society further degenerates and descends into the abyss. Nigeria remains a potentially great threat to other major powers, including the advanced economies and democracies. But what constitutes its Achilles’ heel is attitude and lack of vision. However, we are proud of all of you distinguished senior citizens present here today that have remained resolute, focused and faithful to the cause and pursuit of the attainment of nationhood by Nigeria,” he said.
Obasanjo while stating that Dr. Fasehun is remembered, venerated and celebrated for his political leadership, commended governors of the South West states of Nigeria for their foresightedness the in establishment of the security outfit, Amotekun.
He said the governors in the different states of the country as the chief security officers of their respective states were taking measures to enhance and buoy up security for their citizens. “These measures vary from paying off bandits, to hunting them down with vigilantes and hunters and to innovative joint efforts like Amotekun. What these governors have shown was that they were concerned and cared,” Obasanjo stated.
He said further “I would not know if any of them was shocked but most of them took steps as they deemed fit to enhance the security of life and property for their citizens and augment the failing and inadequate security provided at the national level,” he said.