Community Policing Best Way To Secure Nigeria — IG, Adebanjo, Odumakin

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The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has said the hierarchy of the Force has come to the realisation that present day law enforcement requires more than the old ways of things, hence its decision to change the face for community policing.
Adamu, represented by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 11, Leye Oyebade, spoke at the 25th anniversary of the Oodua People’s Congress on Thursday in Lagos.
Adamu said the police was now on the same page with the OPC as far as securing the community is concerned, hence its recent decision to up the level of partnership with the organisation.
Oyebade said at the event put together by the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland and National Coordinator of the OPC, Iba Gani Adams: “This is a goodwill message from the Inspector General of Police….
“The police is changing the face for community policing.
“And this is the message of hope we are bringing to you all.
“We are getting policing to the people.
“And in this process, we are on the same page with the OPC.
“You would have observed that the group has changed its strategy from militancy to diplomacy, authentic dispute resolution.
“So we have to partner ourselves.
“In this country today, the political terrain is tough, the economic environment harsh, so the issue of security should not be taken lightly.
“We need to talk with everybody.
“Like Aare said, we must partner.
“And in this move, every sector is represented.
“For instance, we have the Zone 11 Stakeholders Forum.
“Everyone that can bring anything valuable to the table should do it.
“That is the way forward.”
Elder statesman and Deputy Leader of Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, equally told the gathering that community policing was the only way to go in resolving the insecurity in the country.
Adebanjo said: “The IG should be told the truth about this.
“There is no other way out.”
He said it remains almost impossible for someone who does not know a terrain well to effectively curtail crime there.
He, however, said the community policing he is talking about is not just arming some people with baton and telling them to go after criminals, but a well funded and armed police team.
He said the police to operate at the community level must not be one influenced by the political class but under a professional.
He said the same should be applicable to the federal police.
The Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, equally backed the call for the swift introduction of community policing.
He, however, said he disagreed with the tag Oyebade gave to the OPC that it had dropped its militancy for diplomacy.
He said both should run together, adding that when the need for diplomacy arises, it should be used, while the door for militancy should not be shut.
Odumakin said: “OPC should maintain its vibrancy.
“Diplomacy good, but OPC should also apply vibrancy where necessary.”
He also called for justice to be done in the case of the killing of three operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team by soldiers of 93 Battalion of the Nigerian Army “instead of engaging in useless investigation.”

OPC at 25 honours Awolowo, Abiola, Ajasin, Akinadewo, 17 others
The Oodua People’s Congress on Thursday honoured 21 Nigerians for their contributions to the growth of the organisation and their belief in and pursuit of the Yoruba cause.
The honour was bestowed on the recipients at a well attended ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the OPC.
The group was founded on August 13, 1994 in the wake of the struggle for the actualisation of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola.
The National Coordinator of the OPC and Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, explained the reason behind the award in his speech at the event on Thursday in Lagos: “Let it be restated here that our interest in all is defending the Yoruba interest. And we are fanatical about that.
“This is why we want to use the opportunity of this anniversary to honour those who have been fanatical, like us in OPC, about Yoruba interest. For example, even if I did not meet him personally, I heard and read about our revered leader, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Pa Adekunle Ajasin I met though many here just read about him. Bashorun Abiola’s passion for the Yoruba race was never in doubt until he died. These are the calibre of people we are honouring today.
“They are the ones who have propelled us in all that we have done so far, with OPC gaining grounds all over the world. Despite the many battles, OPC is progressing.
“It has given birth to Olokun Festival Foundation, Gani Adams Foundation, Oodua Progressives Union, an organisation for Yorubas in Diaspora now in 87 countries. It is equally on record that most self-determination groups between 2001 and 2012 have traces of OPC membership. That is why we only laugh when people speak ill of OPC because you do not know the potential we have inhouse.
“The progress we have recorded has shown in the number of recognitions we have received, the highest being my emergence as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
“In the letter of award by Iku Baba Yeye, Alaafin of Oyo, it was stated that my involvement in the OPC Olokun Festival Foundation and OPU, which was then in 77 countries, earned me the highest honour and title in Yorubaland, the Aare Ona Kakanfo.”
Those honoured at the event were late Chief Obafemi Awolowo with the Legacy Award; late Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Legacy Award; late Chief Abraham Adesanya, Legacy Award; late Justice Adewale Thompson, former Legal Adviser of OPC, with the Legacy Award; and Abiola as Icon of Democracy.
Others honoured included Prof. Wole Soyinka, Adviser of OPC; late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, lead advocate of OPC; late Beko Ransome Kuti, pioneer Treasurer of OPC; late Ambassador Segun Olusola, former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Olokun Festival Foundation; late Dr. Fredrick Faseun, Founding and Spiritual Father; late Rasheed Gbadamosi, former Chairman BOT, OPC; and late Prof. Sophie Oluwole, Member BOT Olokun Festival Foundation.
Others also honoured were late Tony Ngrube, one of the nine founding members; late Alhaji Ibrahim Abobanawo, one of the nine founding members; Olumide Adeniji, one of the nine founding members; Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin, for selfless service to the OPC; Femi Falana (SAN), leading legal advocate; Oluwole Kehinde, leading legal advocate; Gabriel Akinadewo, Publisher of Freedom Online for selfless service to the OPC; Femi Aborishade, a lawyer, for selfless service to the OPC; and Chief Yemisi Shylon, an unrelenting resource person.

OPC may go into politics soon — Gani Adams
The Oodua People’s Congress may go into partisan politics if the conditions that warranted its setting up are not in place in the country in the next few months.
The National Coordinator of the OPC and Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, dropped the hint at the 25th anniversary celebration of the organisation on Thursday in Lagos.
Adams, at the well attended ceremony, said since the establishment of the OPC on August 13, 1995 was for the revalidation of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola and good governance in the country, the purpose cannot be taken as having been achieved.
He said the demand for the restructuring of the country still remains valid, without which no meaningful progress can be achieved.
He said: “Without mincing words, let me say categorically: the next few months will determine whether we will remain politically neutral or partisan. Do not forget that what gave birth to the OPC was the struggle for the revalidation of the June 12, 1993 presidential mandate of the late Bashorun Abiola. From there, we went on to demand for a total restructuring of the country.
“Till date, that has not been achieved. And, unfortunately, we have not seen any tangible evidence or sign that we are moving in that direction, with all of us knowing that the way the country is presently structured can only bring nothing but disaster. The most recent minimum irreducible for those who have followed this agitation on restructuring is for the government to implement the recommendations of the National Conference convoked by the Administration of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
“It is in this light that I say that if in the next few months there is no tangible evidence that the country will be restructured, then OPC will become partisan. The details we are still keeping to our chest. But with a membership of over six million, even if it is members of the legislature at the States and Federal levels that we are able to produce, we will be in a position to influence what happens in the government at all levels. Time for ‘siddon look’ is over.”
Adams said the OPC has come a long way in its 25 years of existence, transforming from a group largely formed for the June 12, 2993 struggle, to one now deeply entrenched in the Yoruba cause, ranging from the security of the people to the protection of its culture and peaceful co-existence among people of the race both within and outside Nigeria.
He said to achieve this agenda, OPC now has several offshoots, including the Olokun Festival Foundation, Gani Adams Foundation and Oodua Progressive Union, which now has presence in 87 countries.
He said: “The progress we have recorded has shown in the number of recognitions we have received, the highest being my emergence as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
“In the letter of award by Iku Baba Yeye, Alaafin of Oyo, it was stated that my involvement in the OPC Olokun Festival Foundation and OPU, which was then in 77 countries, earned me the highest honour and title in Yorubaland, the Aare Ona Kakanfo.”
Speaking on how OPC began, Iba Adams said: “I tremble in awe of God when I look back at what started 25 years ago as a movement for the validation of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by our own irrepressible Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, but which today has blossomed into the proverbial Iroko tree that, still by the grace of Olodumare, can no longer be uprooted. From a gathering of just 10 men on August 13, 1995 at number 110, Palm Avenue Street, Mushin, here in Lagos State, the Oodua Peoples Congress has grown into an organisation of over six million members spread not just across the South West States but to all parts of Nigeria.
“I recall with nostalgia how my humble self and late Dr. Frederick Fasehun, Evangelist Kunle Adesokan, Silas Alani, Tony Ngrube (late), Alhaji Ibrahim Abobanawo (late), Mrs. Idowu Adebowale, Ibrahim Atanda (late) and Olumide Adeniji (late) sat in the law chamber of Opeyemi Bamidele, who was to later become a Commissioner in Lagos State and now senator, to deliberate on the way forward following the annulment of the freest and fairest election in Nigeria by the Military Junta.
“This came after several efforts to revalidate the election had failed.”
Adams added that as the association is progressing, so also are the members.
He said OPC has gone from being an association of a few to a gathering of over six million.
He said it is now seen as a rallying point for the Yoruba race, with the OPU a force to be reckoned with, adding: “OPC has grown from the previous outlook of largely illiterate members who are regarded as back benchers. About 30 per cent of National Coordinating Council are graduates. Over 96 per cent of OPU members are graduates. So, the future looks great. And we will explore it. To the fullest.”
Among those who attended the event were the Inspector General of Police, represented by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 11, Leye Oyebade; the Deputy National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin; Founder of Women Arise, Joe Okei-Odumakin; members of the Aare-in-Council; traditional rulers; and activists.

SPEECH BY THE AARE ONAKAKANFO OF YORUBALAND AND NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF THE OODUA PEOPLE’S CONGRESS, IBA GANI ABIODUN IGE ADAMS, ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 29, 2019 AT THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF OPC IN LAGOS.

Protocols
I tremble in awe of God when I look back at what started 25 years ago as a movement for the validation of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by our own irrepressible Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, but which today has blossomed into the proverbial Iroko tree that, still by the grace of Olodumare, can no longer be uprooted. From a gathering of just 10 men on August 13, 1995 at number 110, Palm Avenue Street, Mushin, here in Lagos State, the Oodua Peoples Congress has grown into an organisation of over six million members spread not just across the South West States but to all parts of Nigeria.

I recall with nostalgia how my humble self and late Dr. Frederick Fasehun, Evangelist Kunle Adesokan, Silas Alani, Tony Ngrube (late), Alhaji Ibrahim Abobanawo (late), Mrs. Idowu Adebowale, Ibrahim Atanda (late) and Olumide Adeniji (late) sat in the law chamber of Opeyemi Bamidele, who was to later become a Commissioner in Lagos State and now senator, to deliberate on the way forward following the annulment of the freest and fairest election in Nigeria by the Military Junta.

This came after several efforts to revalidate the election had failed.

Did we fail or succeed in that assignment? That question I will leave for Nigerians and the rest of the world to answer. But for me, the key takeaway from the formation of the OPC is that when God has a hand in the affairs of any man or association, no matter the opposition and stumbling blocks, success will be achieved.

We have gone from being an association of a few to a gathering of millions. The OPC is now seen as a rallying point for the Yoruba race. Despite all evil machinations, we now number over six million. So also has an offshoot of the OPC, the Oodua Progressive Union (OPU), become a force to be reckoned with. The OPU is now in 87 countries, with more chapters due to be inaugurated in the days ahead. Indeed, this can only be God.

As we return all the thanks to God, so also do we acknowledge the efforts of the founding fathers and mothers of the association, especially the inaugural group that I mentioned earlier. We must also place on record the salutary roles played by several key Nigerians, especially those of Yoruba origin, including Bashorun Abiola, without whose courage to step into the political arena, the formation of OPC would not have taken place. But for the annulment of that election, OPC won’t be in existence. I give kudos to all those who fought on the side of justice; all Traditional Rulers in Yorubaland, with specific mention of the Alaafin of Oyo, Iku Baba Eye, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; his successor, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi; late Alake of Egbaland, Oba Samuel Oyebade Lipede; and the incumbent, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo. We also have academics who have helped to shape the vision and mission of the group with their contributions to our programmes and conferences to thank. Our gratitude also goes to the country’s civil society organisations for standing by us through thick and thin. And we won’t forget the Media. Without the support and backing of the men and women of the pen profession, though many of them now operate with their smart devices, we won’t be where we are.

The road to where we are has been rough and tortuous. It has been full of ups and downs. Our President, late Dr. Frederick Fasehun, was in prison for over 25 months over this struggle. I spent 17 months in detention after being declared wanted and in hiding for about 14 months. We lost no fewer than 2,500 members to this struggle. That is a huge number. May we observe a minute silence in their honour. Please let us all rise.

May their souls and those of others who have died in the course of the struggle for a better Nigeria rest in perfect peace. Amen.

The journey has not been easy. OPC is, perhaps, the most criticised, most humiliated group in Nigeria. It is one of the groups around the world that sacrificed so much, but was not quickly appreciated.

One of the areas that got people confused the most was where OPC belongs religion-wise. Some were quick to label all members as traditionalists. But they are wrong. OPC is perhaps the most liberal when it comes to religion. We have adherents of all religions. This indeed was an advantage for us as we got millions of followers whose focus were the ideals of the organisation and not religion.

The issue of security provided by the OPC has also made us the cynosure of all eyes. In the South West, most urban areas, about 60 per cent to 70 per cent of our streets and communities are being secured by the police with the OPC complementing them. In the last two months, the police hierarchy has engaged OPC in talks. Several things are cooking. They will unfold in the next six weeks. I must also state that we are in the plan of the six South West Governors in their move to secure the zone.

Our growth made us the target of the political class, with the elite openly professing hatred for us. This became more pronounced when we went into offering private security, most times free of charge. We became enemies of the police, government, criminals and modern religious organisations.

We are, however, not saying that the organisation is without blemish. Even among just 12, there was a Judas. So among six million, there will be. No doubt a group with such huge membership will still have a few bad products. But anyone that gets involved in negative things will face the wrath of the law. We have our saying: Eni ba da ile, a ba ile lo. Meaning literally: A betrayer will pay the price.

OPC had differentiated between religion and culture with Olokun Foundation beginning from 2000. 96% of members of OPU are literate.

Let it be restated here that our interest in all is defending the Yoruba interest. And we are fanatical about that.

This is why we want to use the opportunity of this anniversary to honour those who have been fanatical, like us in OPC, about Yoruba interest. For example, even if I did not meet him personally, I heard and read about our revered leader, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Pa Adekunle Ajasin I met though many here just read about him. Bashorun Abiola’s passion for the Yoruba race was never in doubt until he died. These are the calibre of people we are honouring today.

They are the ones who have propelled us in all that we have done so far, with OPC gaining grounds all over the world. Despite the many battles, OPC is progressing.

It has given birth to Olokun Festival Foundation, Gani Adams Foundation, Oodua Progressives Union, an organisation for Yorubas in Diaspora now in 87 countries. It is equally on record that most self-determination groups between 2001 and 2012 have traces of OPC membership. That is why we only laugh when people speak ill of OPC because you do not know the potential we have in-house.

The progress we have recorded has shown in the number of recognitions we have received, the highest being my emergence as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.

In the letter of award by Iku Baba Yeye, Alaafin of Oyo, it was stated that my involvement in the OPC Olokun Festival Foundation and OPU, which was then in 77 countries, earned me the highest honour and title in Yorubaland, the Aare Ona Kakanfo.

And then I have been asked this question over and over again since we took the decision to celebrate our 25 years of existence: What will the next 25 years hold for the OPC and its numerous offshoots such as the OPU, Gani Adams Foundation and Olokun Festival Foundation?

Without mincing words, let me say categorically: the next few months will determine whether we will remain politically neutral or partisan. Do not forget that what gave birth to the OPC was the struggle for the revalidation of the June 12, 1993 presidential mandate of the late Bashorun Abiola. From there, we went on to demand for a total restructuring of the country.

Till date, that has not been achieved. And, unfortunately, we have not seen any tangible evidence or sign that we are moving in that direction, with all of us knowing that the way the country is presently structured can only bring nothing but disaster. The most recent minimum irreducible for those who have followed this agitation on restructuring is for the government to implement the recommendations of the National Conference convoked by the Administration of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

It is in this light that I say that if in the next few months there is no tangible evidence that the country will be restructured, then OPC will become partisan. The details we are still keeping to our chest. But with a membership of over six million, even if it is members of the legislature at the States and Federal levels that we are able to produce, we will be in a position to influence what happens in the government at all levels. Time for “siddon look” is over.

OPC has grown from the previous outlook of largely illiterate members who are regarded as back benchers. About 30 per cent of National Coordinating Council are graduates. Over 96 per cent of OPU members are graduates. So, the future looks great. And we will explore it. To the fullest.

Thank you for coming.

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