The O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC), has replied Lt.Gen. Abdurahman Dambazau, former chief of army staff and former minister of interior, for comparing the group and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to Boko Haram.
Dambazau, while delivering a lecture to participants of course 5, 2021, Army War College Nigeria, had said, “we see parallels between BH, a religious extreme group and the IPOB and OPC, both ethnic extremist groups. All the three groups operate on the platform of extremism.”
But reacting on Saturday, Yinka Oguntimehin, Publicity Secretary of OPC, stated that Dambazau made the comment in bad faith.
The group accused Dambazau of providing financial and technical support to bandits during his time as minister and former CoAS.
“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 have allegedly been supporting the bandits by offering both financial and technical support to the group.
“Such high profile ex- military officer cannot be trusted in the fight against insurgency because he had on several occasion pleaded on their behalf”, it said.
The OPC reiterated that the group cannot be equated with Boko Haram, which it said was 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”, it also said.
OPC noted that Boko Haram and bandits have taken over four states in the north and Danbazau had never condemned their atrocities.
Oguntimehin, while slamming Dambazau as not being in the right frame of mind over the comment, said the group protected police stations during the #EndSARS protests in the South-west.
“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 meeting on the critical security situation in the country, he didn’t attend”.
“OPC has never 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 ENDSARS 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,” OPC added.