Yoruba ethnic militia, the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), has issued a strongly-worded statement asking Northern leaders to desist from “blackmailing” President-elect Bola Tinubu.

The outburst came in the wake of ensuing strife for political offices in the incoming administration under Mr Tinubu, including the leadership of the 10th National Assembly.

A group of northern senators-elect had met on Sunday night and resolved that their region must produce the president of the 10th Senate.

In the meeting which cut across party lines, the senators-elect maintained that their region deserved the senate presidency because it delivered the highest number of votes which saw the election of President-elect Bola Tinubu. 

Per convention, the filling of top executive and legislative positions at every political dispensation is based on ethno-religious considerations garbed in zoning.

In a response signed by its secretary, Bunmi Fasehun, the OPC described the group as self-serving individuals who have resorted to uttering provocative statements and blackmailing Mr Tinubu because of an improper sense of entitlement to principal offices in the country’s parliament.

“We want to advise that Tinubu should not be subjected to blackmail by any region over the distribution of legislative and executive offices. There is no single geo-political region where Tinubu scored zero votes; so he was fundamentally elected by all sections of Nigeria, North, South, East and West. He belongs to everybody,” the statement read. 

The OPC said that it was premature for the group to start attempting to influence the president-elect on ethnic basis because the ethnic and religious divisions brought about by President Muhammadu Buhari’s lopsided appointments would be tough to address.

“It is very funny, curious, and contradictory that those who failed to raise a voice to demand equity for other regions when President Muhammadu Buhari was indulging in lopsided appointments and pushing sectional agendas are the ones now clamouring to monopolise positions and offices once more,” the statement read. 

“It is time for these selfish Northern individuals to release the levers of power and let the occupant of Aso Rock to equally dispense the dividends of democracy so that the entire country will enjoy equity, justice and development.

“Tinubu should not forget that even those who did not vote for him still add great value in terms of the natural resources they contribute to the national treasury.

“The President-Elect must realise that he is inheriting a badly divided country that needs urgent healing from insurgency, insecurity and underdevelopment,” it added.