Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state said the Yoruba area was more protected by members of the Oodua Peoples` Congress (OPC) than the Police.
Mimiko stated this at the 80th birthday celebration of OPC founder, Dr Frederick Fasehun, in Lagos on Saturday.
“You founded OPC, today, I tell you in Yoruba land that many Yoruba people will feel secure with OPC guarding their streets than the conventional police,” he said.
The governor noted that the formation of the group was one of the many legacies of Fasehun.
“It is not yet over; you struggled for democracy for this country; the second part of it is indeed the struggle for restructuring Nigeria into true federal states.
“One thing is clear and I have always said this that OPC is about protection of Yoruba people, because Yoruba people hate injustice,’’ he said.
He described Fasehun as detribalised and unique Nigerian and a gentleman.
“I speak on behalf of the government and people of Ondo state; we are proud of you.
‘’As a governor of Ondo state, I am proud to be associated with you,’’ he added.
In his remark, Maj. Hamzat Al-Mustapha (retd), former Chief Security of Officer (CSO) to late Sanni Abacha, former Head of State, said Fasehun was large hearted and a bridges builders.
“He has done quite a lot; nobody can quantify the much he has put across the country.
‘’He has the capacity and the wisdom and the large heart to build bridges of peace in Nigeria,” he said.
Al-Mustapha also described Fasehun as ‘’brave, dependable, fearless and knowledgeable’’.
In his speech, Fasehun, said that the celebration was organised to build bridges as it brought different ethnic groups in Nigeria together.
“Our country needs to be re-organised and that is why I feel very happy that many ethnic nationalities are here because we want to use this opportunity to start bridge-building in this country,“ he said.
Fasehun urged the Federal Government to show commitment to improving education of youths so as to promote unity and curb insecurity.
According to him, we have been agitating for free education at all levels; it is the right of all youths.
‘’Education is the bed rock of national development so all of us must commit ourselves to the education of the youth,’’ he stressed.
Fasehun who announced his retirement from partisan politics at the occasion, said he would like to be regarded as elder statesman.
“I give up placard-carrying; every Nigerian is my brother, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and others.
“ All of us should be committed to bridge-building; henceforth, I will be an advocate of peace to all, he said.
“We have not noticed the possible aspect of change but 100 days is too short.
We want Nigerians to be patient; we want to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to concentrate on governance,’’ Fasehun also said.
He commended the president on the fight against corruption but warned against ‘’selective probing’’. (NAN)