The Buhari administration should know that Nigerians are hungry for change – Gani Adams



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Otunba Gani Adams, the national coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), a Yoruba nationalist organisation, in this exclusive interview with NAIJ.com's Michael Abimboye speaks on the current situation of the country, the crisis in the OPC, the issue of OPC's festivals being diabolical and many more.
About the current situation in Nigeria
Otunba Gani Adams, the national coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC)
I don't want to make a categorical statement about the federal government. I want to make that after one year in power. This is because I listen to the submission of the minister of state for petroleum. It gave me some rethink about what led to this fuel scarcity.

I believe the government in power should know that Nigerians are hungry for a change based on their campaign. They thought that once they get into power, within six months, Nigeria will be different entirely, but the fuel scarcity this time around is more worse that what we've ever seen in the country.
The issue of electricity dropped to minimum, this has never happened. I think this compounded the hardship on Nigerians. I don't want to talk too much until May 29. That will give room for us to fully access the government in power.
The minister said the cases of pipeline vandals doubled what was recorded last year and you can recall what happened last year when we got the pipeline protection contract, Nigerians politicalise it, especially our people in the south-west.
"When we left in job in July,
7 operatives of the DSS were killed, and from the information in our disposal, day by day, the vandals are syphoning this fuel.
So I think the president and the minister of petroleum should move to reduce the wastage of fuel through by the vandals."
On pipeline protection contract

The issue of restoring the pipeline contract is not the problem. The issue is that they should pay us our money. We worked for three months and in the process we lost two persons and 36 were wounded, and we reduced the activities of the vandals to the lowest minimum within that period. FG formulated the contract, we agreed, there was a correspondence to the NNPC in Mosimi and in the last email they sent to us, they commended us for a job well done and they regretted that they can't secure another term of contract by then.

About the crisis within the OPC
Part of the OPC crisis you see in the pages of the newspapers is because of this pipeline contract. They are accusing me that I took a huge hunk of the money for the job which FG has not paid a kobo. The 17 persons who are being used by politicians to malign my character and wrote a two-page petition to the EFCC saying that I collected 22 million dollars from Gadhafi, embezzled 150 million naira from the OPC, took 20 million naira on Owo crisis. A petition without content, credible evidence, nothing.
About an invitation by the EFCC
Can any serious organization take such petition serious? Even the police that ask people to write against each other cannot take it serious. If I want to make an allegation against you that you embezzle my money, I have to write the way you embezzled it, the way you transfer the money, what it was used for, the day and time. I can't just say 'Mike, you embezzled my 5 million'. The OPC has never contributed 1 million naira in a month. It's a grassroots organisation. It's a voluntary organisation.
We have an office in palm groove, we are paying seven hundred thousand naira annually. No OPC can say he contributed to the rent. Singlehandedly I pay for the rent. We have 11 staffs before but I reduced it to 5 and I pay their salaries from my pocket since 2015. Even the address they used to write the petition to the EFCC is the land I bought in Mushin. I bought it and paid the money twice to the family as a legacy to the organization. They said OPC raised money to buy land for hotel, that's a lie.
I raised the money, bought one land in Ikorodu, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Osun and Ondo so that when we have money in future, we can build 3-star hotels. How can Gadhafi give a Yoruba socio-cultural group 22 million dollars? Am I Taliban? Is the OPC a religious organization? We don't run such.

About tagging OPC's festivals as 'diabolical'

You are one of the journalists that attend our festivals; do you see anything that is diabolical? How should a festiuval be diabolical? We have to use our common sense. Christmas is a festival, Easter is a festival, Sallah is a festival. Anything that brings people together for celebration is a festival.

Do you ever see us kill chicken or ram at festivals? We don't do rituals at our festival ground. What we do at our festival is to showcase our culture and polish the image of our deities. When you watch China TV you will see cultural express. They are the richest country in the world. Those running away from their culture are not getting it right built those who are getting close to their culture are getting it right.

A country like Malaysia, Japan, China, India, these are countries that control technology of the world. Even the European Union could not run away from their culture. The headquarters of UNESCO is in Paris and the UNESCO fund several festivals like Osun-Osogbo, like Arigungun, Ifa.

A festival is a cultural tourism. We can't be like the Europeans, even if you have their passport. It's a privilege.

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