By Clifford Ndujihe
The Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, has called on Northern leaders and the Federal Government to halt immediately the ongoing ethno-religious violence in Sokoto and other Northern states, as well as guarantee the safety of the lives and businesses of Southerners in the North.
In a statement by its President, Wasiu Afolabi, the OPC also demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Islamic leaders, who fuelled the crisis by allegedly mobilising rioters and making inflammatory statements, after the killing of the female student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Deborah Samuel.
“These people must know that nobody has a monopoly of violence. Nobody should provoke Yoruba people. Northerners cannot continue to take the laws into their hands. We hold President Muhammadu Buhari and all the governors responsible for this provocative resort to violence by rioters. Northern leaders must immediately put a stop to this madness because it is capable of provoking reprisals from other parts of the country,” OPC said, adding, “Enough is enough.”
Condemning the killing of Samuel, the group described her murder as “unwarranted, barbaric and provocative.”
Afolabi said: “We demand justice for Miss Deborah Samuel, whose life was so brazenly cut short in her prime. OPC demands that her killers must be hunted down, brought to justice and made to face the maximum punishment that the law dictates.”
Recalling that former President Olusegun Obasanjo once declared that security agencies should shoot-on-sight members of OPC and other self-determination groups for no justifiable reason, Afolabi wondered why President Buhari had failed to “read the riot act to rampaging rioters in the North now maiming, killing and looting with reckless abandon.”