Reports have it that the O’odua Peoples Congress has lampooned the former Chief of Army Staff and immediate past Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdurahman Dambazau (retd) for likening them as well as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to Boko Haram.
OPC in a statement released on Saturday April 10 its Publicity Secretary Mr Yinka Oguntimehin, said the former Army chief is suffering from ”acute dementia and gradually losing touch with the realities of the moment.”
They also alleged that in 2014 just before the general election, Dambazau and four other top Northern leaders had their hands in the recruitment of bandits into the country.
OPC also alleged that when Dambazzau eventually became the minister of Interior under President Muhammadu Buhari, “he requested and pleaded that the Federal Government should raise over N800b to settle the bandits; a request that was opposed Nigerians”.
The statement read;
“Dambazau’s statement that OPC and IPOB are very much the same as the dreaded Boko Haram was made in bad faith, and such statements have raised some fundamental questions about his intentions, interests and morality as a former COAS and minister of Interior that has allegedly been supporting bandits offering them both financial and technical support.
“Such high profile ex-military officer cannot be trusted in the fight against insurgency because he had on several occasions pleaded on their behalf.
“In 2014, before the general election, Dambazau and four other top Northern leaders had their hands in the recruitment of bandits into the country. And when he eventually became the minister of Interior under President Muhammadu Buhari, he requested and pleaded that the Federal Government should raise over N800b to settle the bandits; a request that was opposed Nigerians.
“So, for such a person to have said OPC is the same as Boko Haram is not only derogatory, but is also most unfortunate to say the least. Boko Haram is adjudged globally as the third most dreaded terrorist groups in the world.
“And up till today, it remains as such with various cases of killings across the North…
“For instance, presently, Boko Haram and bandits have taken over four states in the North and Danbazau had never condemned their atrocities, he didn’t raise a finger.
“It is no doubt that he is one of their sponsors. That is why he had, rather than offering a lasting solution to the insurgency in the north and across the country, remained an ardent promoter of bandits and other terrorist groups in Nigeria.
“So, from his statement, it shows that the ex-minister is not in his right frame of mind, because when bandits killed a foremost Oba in Ondo, he didn’t talk. When other respected leaders from the north held a meeting on the critical security the situation in the country, he didn’t attend.”
Noting that OPC has been in existence since 1994, Oguntimehin stated that OPC cannot be equated with Boko Haram which it said was adjudged globally as “the third most dreaded terrorist groups in the world.”
The group also pointed out that Boko Haram and bandits have taken over four states in the North and Danbazau had never condemned their atrocities.
“OPC has never been involved in any act of insurgency, including kidnapping or killings. Our group has been at the vanguard of supporting the police and providing information that can help the police in ensuring effective security at the grassroots.
“For instance, during the END SARS protests, OPC came to the rescue in the southwest and we protected the police stations and the police formations against unscrupulous rioters that had hijacked the peaceful protests.
“Recently, the OPC under our amiable leader, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, apprehended the notorious Kidnap kingpin, Abdullah Iskilu Wakili that had been terrorising the people of Ibarapa and its environs, and we handed him over to the police.
“So for somebody of Dambazau’s status to say such a group is like the Boko Haram, truly shows his mindset and level of thinking. Such a person has truly lost touch with the realities of the present time because today, the OPC has been reorganised, repackaged, and re-orientated in such a way that it has become a thorn in the flesh of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists. And today, the fear of the OPC has truly become the beginning of wisdom for people like Danbazau and his allies.”