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OPC Launches Manhunt For Kidnappers of Olu Falae

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Founder of the Oodua People's Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has

called for the immediate release of his birthday mate, Chief Olu Falae,

kidnapped on Monday in Akure, Ondo State.
Born on September 21 like Falae, a visibly agitated Fasehun, who turned

Octogenarian yesterday, said in Lagos yesterday that he had ordered OPC

operatives to immediately launch a manhunt, combing all nooks and crannies

of Ondo State and beyond, for the kidnapped politician.

Fasehun described the kidnap as an assault and insult on the Yoruba

people, and challenged security operatives and agencies to produce Falae

within 48 hours.
The OPC Founder immediately summoned all members in the country to attend

an emergency meeting on Sunday.
“OPC is not interested in crisis but it was founded primarily for the

protection of its own and for building bridges in Nigeria,” he said. “All

lovers of Nigerian unity like OPC, communal peace and national progress

must rise up to this challenge.
Warning of possible consequences, Fasehun pointed out that eyewitnesses

indicated that Falae had been taken by strangers, just like the wife of

the Sun Newspapers Executive Director, Mrs. Toyin Nwosu, abducted last

week in Lagos.
His words: “At my turning 80, the entire world would expect me to be a

bridge builder. And I have prepared myself to be just that. But if any

missile is thrown at you, and it is likely to affect your eyeball, you

must avoid it at all costs. This is my view of the insult now being

unleashed, being flung at Nigeria by the enemies of Nigeria's unity.”

The kidnappers have reportedly demanded a ransom of N100 million.

Recalling that Falae had rendered “impeccable” service to the country as

a Permanent Secretary, then Minister of Finance and Secretary to the

Federal Government, Fasehun described the victim's current ordeal as

““When we heard that Falae was kidnapped we thought it was impossible, as

kidnappers would not be mad enough to kidnap a man of peace, a man who has

selflessly served Nigeria,” he said. “Falae is by any standard a leader of

the Yoruba people, a leader of Nigeria and a significant leader in Africa.

He is a leader of Afenifere. He was a leader of NADECO. And any assault on

him is an assault on Nigeria and Nigerians.”
He also frowned at the fact that 24 hours following the kidnap, the

Federal Government was yet to officially react to the incident.

“Over 24 hours after this disruption of the life of a dignitary,

government has not issued any statement; rather what we hear is a loud

silence from the Federal Government. It is a shame; it is a big shame,”

Fasehun said.
Recalling that Falae, as the Olu of Oba-Ile, was the ruling monarch of his

homestead, he urged all traditional rulers in Nigeria to also rise up for

his release.
According to the OPC President, the organisation felt concerned at Falae's

kidnap, which he described as an affront.
Fasehun feared that the kidnapping of the top-flight politician portended

ill for his fellows.
“We believe this is a political issue. And any politician in Nigeria must

make sure that Chief Olu Falae is released immediately,” he said.

“Otherwise OPC will take any step available to defend its own.”

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