The reformed pan-Yoruba organisation, the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, has issued a 14-day ultimatum to suspected Niger Delta militants to desist from attacking communities in the South West, else the Ijaw people in the region would gear up for reprisal attacks.
The OPC, reportedly issued the threat while reacting to recent attacks by suspected militants on Imusin and Ogijo in Ogun and some riverine communities in Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
In a statement by the group’s spokesman Comrade Dare Adesope entitled, ‘‘Incursion of Ijaw militants into Yoruba land: Enough is enough,the OPC threatened reprisal attack if the suspected Ijaw militants failed to end the incursion into the South-West at the end of the 14-day ultimatum, stating that the attack in the South-West was an affront on the Yoruba nation and it would not be accepted.
Part of the statement read:
“Enough of these invasions, killings and kidnapping of our people right on our own soil. We of the Oodua Peoples Congress (Reformed) have waited for this long, hoping that the government would curb the deadly acts of the Ijaw people on our kinsmen in their fatherland in Ogun and Lagos states.
“But, it has now dawned on us that the lives and properties of our people and, indeed, the masses are of no importance to those in authorities and the marauding militants.
“It is a known fact that we, the Yoruba, are the most contented, accommodating and tolerant among all the ethnic groups in Nigeria. We wholeheartedly welcome other tribes coming into our states either to reside or do business.
“But, if they want to take our hospitality for stupidity, we are ready to prove to them that the gentility of a tiger is not an act of cowardice. Before now, it was the Fulani herdsmen, now it is the Ijaw people that are on the prowl. Enough is enough
“Consequently, we are giving the Ijaw militants a 14-day ultimatum to allow peace to reign in our land. If they fail to heed the warning, it will henceforth be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. We will prove to them that Lagos belongs to the Yoruba and not a no man’s land that they tend to erroneously claim.”
Suspected Niger Delta militants had on Saturday, July 16, had stormed the palace of the traditional ruler of Iba Local Council Development Area of Lagos state, Goriola Oseni , shot one of his wives and killed his guard before abducting the monarch.
Condemning the kidnap of the traditional ruler, the leader of the O’odua Peoples’ Congress (OPC), Gani Adams, had offered the group’s service to the government in the fight against the Niger Delta Avengers and other criminal groups.
“I condemn the kidnapping of a traditional ruler (Oba) and others in Lagos. I also condemn the killings in some parts of the state in recent time. Vandals have killed a number of persons in Ikorodu area. They are involved in pipeline vandalism before now; they are involved in ritual killings.
“We, OPC, are ready to help the government in providing security if we are invited. We participated in providing security before, but the police took us as criminals. We do not want people to misunderstand us again; hence we resolved to provide security for only those that request for our services.”