AMBASSADOR Professor George Obiozor, president general, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has said that violence in any part of Lagos, is violence on all Igbos.
Obiozor stated this when he led members of Ohanaeze to pay a courtesy visit to the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, at the Government House, Alausa, Ikeja, on May 13.
The Ohanaeze president spoke while refuting allegations by the police that the Indigenous People of Biafra planned to attack soft targets in Lagos State.
He told the governor that he received with great concern the news report that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, are planning to unleash violence in some parts of Lagos State.
According to him, Ndigbo as law abiding citizens of the State have special interest in the peace and tranquility of Lagos State, and it will be suicidal to contemplate any acts of violence in any part of Lagos State. “It is evident that Lagos has a high concentration of Igbo population and investments which makes it highly improbable that they should resort to or support such acts. It is the second home of several Ndigbo,” he said.
He said: “The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups with affirmative love for peace and unity in Lagos and across the South West made the whole thing look disturbing and makes one more concerned. We urge the authorities to take the time to properly investigate and access all information relating to this.
“I am aware that the Government and good people of Lagos State under your able leadership, and through their hospitable gestures, have continually kept the trust and friendship between Ndigbo and our host communities in Lagos State alive. Ndigbo cannot indulge in any act that will harm this harmonious peace and cordial relationship.
“We call on any person or group nursing such inhuman and unlawful intentions to desist. Lagos is the economic nerve centre of Nigeria and home for all. It is our collective responsibility to contribute our quotas to the development of the state for the benefit of all.
“We commend the Lagos State security agencies for their efforts toward the protection of all residents of the State. However, we urge them to undertake proper investigations and avoid unnecessary and false alarms which will do no one any good.
“We think that this rumour is intended to distract the Lagos State Government from its efforts to provide good governance for all and cause disaffection between Ndigbo who live in Lagos and their host community. The harmonious coexistence between Ndigbo and the indigenes of Lagos dates back to pre Colonial times. We should not allow mischief-makers to take undue advantage of the prevailing fragile security challenges in Nigeria to sow seeds of discord among us.”
While condemning any act of violence in Lagos State or anywhere else in the country, The Ohanaeze president, said: we must do everything humanly possible to avoid pointing accusing fingers at innocent sections of the populace and putting them in harm’s way.”
Ohanaeze Ndigbo also reiterated total support to the Lagos state government and the security agencies in their patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in Lagos and throughout the country. “The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders, and their contributions to the development of Lagos State is evident and exemplary,” he said.
He said: “Let us all close ranks because any act of violence or attack in any part of Lagos is an attack on all of us!
“I have lead Igbo leaders and stakeholders to inform you that we are concerned and disturbed about the constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumours, gossips and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land contemplate to harm or instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land; we wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumours or statements is emanating from is aimed to sow discord, ill-will and violence between Ndigbo and Yoruba people in Lagos and Yoruba land.
“As implied earlier, divided and rule tactics were used to divide us in the past, now we know better both Ndigbo and Yoruba leaders, never again will Ndigbo be a victim of circumstances they did not create nor can control alone.
“As history of Nigeria in general, Lagos and Yoruba land in particular can bear witness: Ndigbo are nation builders not violent people.”
Expressing appreciation to the governor for granting them audience at a very short notice, Obiozor also commended him for the exemplary leadership he exhibited at the peak of Covid-19 Pandemic that ravaged the country, most especially Lagos state, and the demonstrable success that he recorded, in both controlling and restricting the spread, with his quick response. he added that this went a long way to save life’s in Lagos state and beyond.
He also commended Sanwo-Olu for the freshness he brought to governance together with humility and a rare sense of focus.
Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in the company of Igbo Elders and Leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live in any part of the country and the world at large.
– May 14, 2021 @ 2:14 GMT |