The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has attributed the lingering leadership crisis in the socio-cultural organization to betrayal of trust by some of its members.
Prince Sylvester Eweka, the Edo State administrator of OPC made the allegation in reaction to the emergence of two factional National leaders of the body.
Prince Eweka, a loyalist to the leadership of the Aare, Prince Osibote faction, said the alleged impersonation of the factional wing of Otunba Wasiu Afolabi in the State, is borne-out of selfishness.
Giving a historical background of how the crisis began after the death of the founder of the Organization, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, the OPC administrator alleged that Wasiu Afolabi who was then the Deputy President of the group unveiled and presented Aare Prince Osibote at a meeting in Ile-Ife, Osun State a few years ago.
He wondered why Wasiu, like an after thought suddenly made a U-turn and began to fuel the crisis by parading himself as the President of the body, claiming the late Fasehun said anointed him as successor.
Prince Eweka explained that Wasiu had endorsed Aare Prince Osibote leadership when he led a delegation of OPC members and presented him to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; (Ọjájá II) as the new President of OPC.
Prince Eweka also cited BBC interview – Yoruba Service where also reaffirmed Osibote as OPC leader in Nigeria after the investiture of the later.
According to him, after the new leadership dissolved the cabinet and reappointed him, Wasiu allegedly recruited his loyalists whose acts of desperation and disregard to lawful orders allegedly involved in outrageous activities including communal* matters for survival.
Earlier, the two factional leaders of the organization had agreed to sheath their sword following a peace process that was initiated by the Benin monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II towards resolving the misunderstanding that led to the division of the socio-cultural group.
Speaking further, Prince Eweka who is also the National Public Relations Officer of OPC, recalled how he averted an epic tragedy when a gang of thugs loyal to the rival group in Edo State attempted a forceful takeover of the leadership.
He appealed to the state government and other prominent traditional rulers, including His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, Oba of Benin and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; (Ọjájá II) to call those fuelling crisis in OPC to order and sued for attitudinal change of members of the group in the state in the interest of justice and fairness.
“Before Osibote was announced as the new President of OPC after the death of its founder, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, we were asked in the presence of Afolabi Wasiu, who was then the Deputy President to Fasehun; he (Afolabi), raised his (Wasiu’s) hand and said at that meeting that Fasehun told him that he is leader of OPC,” according to Prince Eweka.
The Edo State OPC administrator further alleged that his intolerance posture to involvement of some recalcitrants members of OPC in communal matters and other illegal activities accounted for the gang up against his leadership in the state, urging members of his organization to work with the police and law security agencies.
“I thank God that I am not a betrayal. My father taught me not to betray people. We can’t allow miscreants to take over the leadership of OPC in Nigeria.
“They are looking for where they are to cause anarchy. I stand as an Edo man; this will not help us. There would have been anarchy in Edo, but we controlled ourselves, even in the face of provocation. I will not allow Edo State to be cajoled to start fighting ourselves,” he alleged.
Responding, Mr. Wasiu Afolabi said he is the authentic President of OPC, and called aggrieved members to close ranks.
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