Attacks on Falana unnecessary, says O’odua group
Attacks by some Yoruba self determination groups on human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, (SAN) are unnecessary, a coalition of Pan Yoruba groups said on Sunday
The group in a statement made available to Irohinoodua said Comrade Falana appears to have been misunderstood by some Yoruba self determination groups who have recently made him a subject of unfounded attacks
“The allegations levelled against him are false.”
The group, O’odua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC) a coalition of 15 Pan Yoruba groups established in 2005 in a statement on Sunday signed by its Secretary for Organisation, Mr Sunday Akinnuoye said Comrade Falana continues to enjoy the goodwill and respect of many Yoruba self determination groups.
“We do not think it makes strategic sense to begin to attack a person of Comrade Falana’s status. We must cultivate the culture of debate and dissent where possible, which is the hallmark of Yoruba civilisation” Akinnuoye said
He said further “Comrade Falana has on many occasions made sacrifices difficult to quantify. He has been detained several times. He puts his life on the line. During the June 12 struggle, he was nearly killed by the military. Countless Yoruba people who were arrested have always found sanctuary in his chambers at no cost. It is wrong to accuse him of failing to assist Yoruba people. He has done this over and over for more that 35 years. We should understand and appreciate that his human rights mandate goes beyond Yoruba territories” Akinnuoye said.
The group said it has initiated genuine moves to reach out to the younger generation of leaders of Yoruba self determination groups who in their desperation appear to be glossing over the iconic role Comrade Falana has played in promoting human liberty including self actualisation of political and economic aspirations of many ethnic and social forces in Nigeria.
ONAC said on many occasions Comrade Falana had spoken up against repression in the South West states and has provided legal services when needed
“The desperate younger generation may lack a deep sense of history about where we are coming from and the true heroes of the people. Falana is one of them. He stands tall. We urge Yoruba self determination groups to always reach out to senior cadres and groups before making statements that do not reflect our common history” ONAC stated