By Charles Adegbite
Founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasehun yesterday accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of attempting to kill him to destabilise the group.
Fasehun, who will be 80 this month, told Daily Sun that while his 70th birthday party was under way in 2005, government agents arrested and took him to Abuja.
He said: “That day, I only escaped death by the whiskers, because when they (security agents) took me to the Murtala International Airport, they wanted us to enter a Bellview airline but we were told they couldn’t allow us to go with it because it was already full.
“We had to enter the other airline, which was the only one available then. But later that day, while I was being interrogated by the then Inspector General of Police in Abuja, one of his officers said I was a lucky bastard because the aircraft I would have entered had just crashed, with all the people on board killed.”
He said he spent nine months in jail during Obasanjo’s tenure without being found guilty by any court.
Narrating his travails under military rule, Fasehun said the late General Sani Abacha dealt with him bitterly because of OPC and his struggles for the unity and emancipation of Yoruba.
Abacha, he said, jailed him for two years and sent men of the State Security Service (SSS) to disorganise the 62nd birthday ceremony organised in his honour in Lagos while he was in prison in 1997.
He said the incident ended up embarrassing the country and the military, because the then American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Walter Carrington was also at the ceremony before the military men and SSS came to disperse them forcefully.
Explaining why he founded the OPC and later resuscitated the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Fasehun said he was not happy with the way some powers that be in the country denied the Yoruba the opportunity to govern the country then.
While those opposed to a Yoruba ruling the country were able to give an excuse for stopping the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, he said, the victory of Bashorun Moshood Abiola was too clear to be explained away.
He said the denial of Abiola victory in the June 12, 1993 presidential poll prompted him to start the self-determination struggles for the Yoruba through OPC.
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