The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) on Saturday criticised former chief of army staff and immediate past minister of interior Lt. Gen. Abdurahman Dambazau (retd.) for comparing the Yoruba rights group with Boko Haram.
Dambazau had said the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and OPC shared similarities with Boko Haram, adding that both OPC and IPOB were making attempts to plunge the nation into ethnic war.
But reacting to his comments, OPC spokesman Yinka Oguntimehin said such statements were capable of heating up the polity and disrupting national peace.
Mr Oguntimehin also described Dambazau as a northern irredentist and extremist, popularly noted for his unguarded statements and utterances.
He said: “…Dambazau’s statement that OPC and IPOB are very much the same as the dreaded Boko Haram was made in bad faith, and such statements have raised some fundamental questions about his intentions, interests and morality as a former COAS and minister of Interior that has allegedly been supporting bandits by offering them both financial and technical support.
“Such high profile ex-military officer cannot be trusted in the fight against insurgency because he had on several occasions pleaded on their behalf.
“In 2014, before the general election, Dambazau and four other top Northern leaders had their hands in the recruitment of bandits into the country. And when he eventually became the minister of Interior under President Muhammadu Buhari, he requested and pleaded that the Federal Government should raise over N800b to settle the bandits; a request that was opposed by Nigerians.
“So, for such a person to have said OPC is the same as Boko Haram is not only derogatory, but is also most unfortunate to say the least. Boko Haram is adjudged globally as the third most dreaded terrorist groups in the world.
“And up till today, it remains as such with various cases of killings across the North…”
He further said the OPC had since its existence in 1994 remained one of the most dependable organisations that have been defending the interest of south-west people.