By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
A pan-Yoruba organisation, the Oodua Progressives Care Initiative, OPCI, has vowed to fight to finish any group or interest wanting to stall the May 29, 2023 inauguration of the President-elect, Asiwaju Boka Ahmed Tinubu, by way of an interim national government, ING.
Similarly, the Arewa Cosultative Forum, ACF, which is a pan-Northern organusation has also called for the arrest and prosecution of those it described as wanting to scuttle the sacrosanct inauguration of a newly elected government come May 29, 2023.
The two socio-cultural organisations at different instances in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, expressed their readiness to resist such moves from any quarter.
The leader of OPCI, Chief Maruf Olarewaju, at a press conference in Ilorin, warned and threatened that his group would fight to finish and is ready to shed the last drop of their blood to fight a possible repeat of the annulment of the fairest and freest June 12, 1993 election, presumed to be won by late Chief M.K.O Abiola, leading to his eventual death.
He averred that the March 25 presidential election that produced the now President-elect, Asiwaju Tinubu, by vast majority of Nigerians remained sacrosanct and that his inauguration on May 29 must not change.
In his speech titled: ‘Stop Drumming For Anarchy Over May 29, 2023 Handing Over,’ Chief Maruf said that like Abiola, another Yoruba man was undisputably elected President with over 8 million votes, “and he was declared by the Independent Natıonal Electoral Commission, INEC, chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu and a Certificate of Return was given to Chief Tinubu.”
He declared, “Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, members of the press, my fellow comrades, OPCI as an organisation that believes in efficacy of law, democracy and the unity of Nigeria, we shall not and we will not fold our hands and be watching these elements of destruction to truncate our democracy.
“If it was done successfully on the June 12 election in 1993, we will not allow it to repeat itself on the February 25 election. We will do everything possible to defend democracy, to sustain democracy, to grow democracy and to defend the mandate given to Chief Tinubu.
“We will mobilise all the sisters organizations, Yoruba sons and daughters within and outside the country to defend the said mandate. We are ready to lay down our lives, if situation demand; we shall fight this battle without looking back, to logical conclusion. We will not allow any intruder or any parasite individual or group of people to dethrone our democracy; we are ready to defend it with the last drop of our blood.”
Also, Dr. Mohamned Ghali Alaaya, the Kwara State Chairman of ACF; a Northern socio-cultural group formed in 2000, in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin declared, “Arrest and prosecute anyone or persons found or caught canvassing for interim government.”
Alaaya also promised that Nigerians generally would resist any attempt by individuals or groups to foist an interim government on the country saying, “Anybody, no matter how highly-placed, advocating or supporting interim government under any guise will be met with the strongest of opposition. I can assure you that Nigerians are too loud in that direction. I trust my Northern people.”
The ACF boss, who is an ally of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, vouched for him that like his other colleagues across the country, who loudly objected the move, the Kwara helmsman would not disappoint in this regard.