A fresh crisis may bebrewingin the South-West as Dr. Frederick Fasehun- led faction of the Oodua Peoples Congress on Friday warned Gani Adams, the leader of a breakaway faction of the pan Yoruba group, to desist from making negative remarks against Fasheun or risk expulsion.
Clashes between the two factions in the past had led to deaths in some South-West cities.
Deputy National Coordinator of the Fasheun-led faction, Mr. Ogunmoye Odunayo, who issued the warning at apress conference in Lagos on Friday, said the office of the national coordinator of the OPC which Adams currently occupies could be given to another deserving member of the group.
He said the warning was based on Adams interview in Saturday PUNCH of April 20, 2013.
Odunayo, who claimed that Adams’ comments in the media were meant to whip up undue support, warned the national coordinator to remember the Yoruba culture of honouring elders.
He said, “In recent times, we have read some comments about the establishment and formation of the Oodua Peoples Congress. Gani joined the congress four years after it was formed. We expect him to have used the peace brokered by former Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State to retrace his steps back to the congress.
“Instead, he has continued to use abusive comments against the person of our founder and president who is old enough to be his father. In Yoruba culture, you do not slap your elders. We want to say enough is enough.
“The position of national coordinator or any other office in the OPC are neither permanent nor a family affair. It can be revoked at any time and given to other deserving member of the congress.”
The deputy national coordinator said Adams was never a founding member of OPC, contrary to his claim in the interview.
He noted that Gani Adams formed a breakaway faction of OPC on March 1, 1999 “for reasons best known to him,” a few years after he joined the group.
Odunayo said, “As far back as 1994 in the early days of the OPC founded by Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, Gani Adams was not known to our president or members of the congress.”
Adams, he claimed, came to the limelight in 1998 “after the arrest of Dr. Fredrick Fasheun by the late head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha, during ourmeeting at Olusoga in Mushin, Lagos State, when he (Gani) contributed to the discussions.”
The deputy coordinator however stated that a former Minister of Health, the late Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, was one of the founders of OPC.
On Fasehun’s plan to resuscitate the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria, Odunayo said the OPC founder was simply exercising his “inalienable right like every other Nigerian.”
Reacting on behalf of Gani Adams, his Personal Assistant, Mr. Segun Akanni, described Odunayo as a ‘faceless person’.
He said it was strange that someone who did not know how or when OPC came to be could issue a threat of expulsion against a key founder of the organisation.
He said nine persons, including Adams, Fasehun and others, sat down in the chambers of Opeyemi Bamidele, a former commissioner in Lagos State and currently a member of the House of Representatives, at 110, Palm Avenue, Mushin Lagos, on August 25, 1994 to form the group.
Akanni said, “The person speaking, Ogunoye Odunayo, is a faceless person and there is no place in OPC record where such a name exists. Those who formed OPC were Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, Gani Adams, late Tony Ngurube, late Olumide Adeniji, Silas Alani, Evangelist Kunle Adesokan, late Ibrahim Abobanawo, late Ibrahim Atanda and Mrs. Idowu Adebowale.
“And in the document which Fasehun and Adams signed after the reconciliation of the two leaders in Ogun State Government House in Abeokuta in 2005, the only two people recognised as leaders of OPC are Fredrick Fasehun as founding father and spiritual father and Gani Adams as national coordinator. So, we don’t know anybody as deputy national coordinator. In fact, I am hearing the name for the first time.
“When the battle was tough, where was the busybody called Ogunoye Odunayo? How can such a faceless person threaten to expel a founding figure like Gani Adams from OPC? As far as we are concerned, such a threat from Fasehun’s camp is a non-issue.”