Oodua People's Congress leaders visit Sanwoolu and offer their full support to APC

YORUBA militant group the Oodua People's Congress (OPC) has declared that it will be backing the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate Babajide Sanwoolu for the governorship of Lagos State when elections hold in March.


Next month, Nigeria goes to the polls with presidential and National Assembly elections taking place on February 16, while those for governorship and state houses of assembly will take place on March 2. Mr Sanwoolu, 53, is standing as the APC candidate having defeated incumbent governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the party's primaries and his main challenger will be Jimi Agbaje of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


Wasiu Afolabi, the OPC's deputy president has promised to mobilise support for Mr Sanwoolu and other candidates of the APC across the southwest in the elections. He added that the OPC also resolved to police the votes of the electorate and enhance credible elections by resisting rigging.


Mr Afolabi, who led members of the group to the Independent Campaign Organisation (ICG) office in Ikeja, the Lagos State capital for a meeting with Tayo Ayinde, Mr Sanwoolu's campaign manager and his deputy Cardinal James Odunmbaku, said the interest of the Yoruba remained paramount to OPC. He added that following the footsteps of OPC founder the late Dr Frederick Fasheun, who passed away last month,  was important.


“We have the power to vote and we have the power to defend the votes. These two objectives we will accomplish,” Mr Afolabi added.


He stressed that talks between the late OPC leader and APC stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had started before Dr Fasheun died. According to Mr Afolabi, surviving OPC leaders decided to put finishing touches to the discussion.


Mr Afolabi said: “Let it be known that in the formation of the OPC by Dr Fredrick Iseotan Fasheun, the national leader of APC played a role, so we are proud to be back home. Fasheun had put his differences with Asiwaju Tinubu aside but he died when the group was about to finalise the agreement with him.


"We have resolved to cooperate with Asiwaju Tinubu and we will deliver the whole of the southwest in the next elections. I have to thank our leaders who made this possible – Afolabi Salami and Olalekan Akintade.”


At the meeting, Mr Sanwoolu, who thanked the OPC leadership for the endorsement, hugged and exchange banters with the organisation’s officers and members. He assured them that they will not regret voting for him.


Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Mr Sanwoolu's running mate, also thanked the OPC for its support, saying the public perception of the group had changed from its characterisation as a militant body to a peaceful cultural group. He added that the OPC is a peaceful group and meant for the emancipation of the Yoruba.