It is believed in many quarters that Igbos don’t organise themselves well when it comes to politics and this known fact has always affected Ndigbo.
Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene now has decided to change that narrative for Ndigbo in Lagos, leading them to the right direction of political participation, hence Ohanaeze Political Forum. His 4 years leadership experience as President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos state has repositioned him to direct Ndigbo in Lagos where it will be well with them, with his long and peaceful standing relationship with Lagos state government under the leadership of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
In a media chart with journalists in Lagos, the convener of the Ohanaeze Political Forum, Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene without mincing word said that this is the right time for Igbos who intend to participate actively in the politics of Lagos in this new era with the platform should join now.
According to him, those who have been previously involved in Lagos politics may now heave a sigh of relief out of all the turbulence of the past years. This is because of the new development which has emerged from Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos under the leadership of Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, the umbrella socio cultural organization for about 6 million Igbos who reside and call Lagos home.
He further said that those who are conversant with the history of Igbos in Lagos politics will know that it has been in proper perspective, rather badmouthing and mudslinging. This ugly development from time to time has given other tribes in Lagos, especially the host community regard them as unserious, uncooperative, and unsettling. Apart from the Yorubas, some other tribes don’t even consider them as a force to reckon with in Lagos politics despite the large number and commercial capacity.
This new development was brought about by the leadership of Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, kudos to his leadership which started in 2018. His leadership brought limelight to Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos, and today umbrella body of Igbos in Lagos now has a traceable address for its official secretariat.
This achievement has created boldness to illustrious Igbo sons and daughters in Lagos and overseas including business moguls, Nollywood stars, cultural icons, sports stars, among others can now connect to a central location, can freely come to an office which is open for business, can meet with a responsive leader in order to have collaborations and partnerships to assist their people, among other benefits.
Again, the socio cultural organization under Solomon Aguene has interacted most peaceably with the government of the day in Lagos.
Chief Solomon Ogbonna said, before now, the widely-held belief is that Igbos will naturally take adversarial stance on governance in Lagos. “Without doubt, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu could be considered luckiest of all Lagos Governors since 1999. This is because of the harmony which the affable Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene has assiduously forged with the Governor whom he has always called ‘friend of the Igbos’.
The breath of fresh air was birthed in the political realms. We have found a way to work together. When we talk of politics in Lagos, look at these people around me today and give it to them. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, we want to possess our possession. We can’t be working like elephant in Lagos politics and be eating like rats. What can Anya, Orobo, and Baba Tata show for their efforts. It is only going to 1 or 2 people who cannot go to their village.
When we have over 6 million people who are interested in politics and they deprive them simply because they believe in intimidation,’ Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene declared boldly at a recent press conference attended by Supreme International magazine at the Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s Secretariat in Lagos”.
In addition, staunch Lagos-based Igbo politician and Chairman of the new Ohanaeze Ndigbo Political Forum, Chief Chris Ekwilo JP popularly called Anya said, “We are all aware that Ohanaeze Ndigbo is apolitical devoid of participating full time in politics but there is a reason President Solomon Ogbonna deemed it fit to create this political forum because Ohanaeze Ndigbo as umbrella body of the Igbo nation cannot be seen to be involved in political act hence the call for this political forum. This is the political arm of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Lagos”.
Continuing Ekwilo said, “Before now, the entire Igbo politicians including myself, the founder of Igbo United Coalition in APC, Chief Uche Babatata, founder of Igbo Vision in APC, Chief Ansalem Udoka aka Orobo omo Baba eto, founder of Igbo Mandate in APC have been operating in separate directions thereby attracting the owners of the party to see us as unserious people. Often, some of us sow seed of discord among Igbos in APC. Ohanaeze Ndigbo Political Forum is a political wing facilitated by Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene.
“So Mr. President, the man who has raised the bar of leadership deemed it fit to bring these groups together in Ohanaeze to play politics as one united body hence Ohanaeze Political Forum. The reason is because the government of Lagos state attach much importance to him for contributing to Lagos state that, the Governor often call him ‘my own brother”.
“With this very forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos will have easy access to deal with our brothers on the need for them to sow a seed of trust between us and our host communities. And to be seen as partners in progress and to stop seeing an average Igbo person as those who bite the fingers that feed them. And that they will not keep tagging us ‘won n ja lowo’, meaning ‘they often fight’. It is also to correct misinformation that those who close their shops in major markets to obtain their PVCs is to vote against APC.
“I want to assure our Governor, friend of Ndigbo and our host community and to remind them what we did in 2019 in Muson centre and Alaba market when Chief Ogbonna raised the hand of Mr. Governor and what followed is bloc vote from people of Igbo extraction. We are here to repeat that feat. With this new development, the anticipated bloc vote from Igbo will be achieved’, the leader concluded.
The deputy leader of the Forum, Hon. Ansalem Udoka added that this is the first time we are getting it right with President, Chief Solomon Ogbonna. I want to put it to you that any other Igbo group apart from those you see here today is not a standard Igbo group. Chief Chris Ekwilo is not a new name in Lagos politics. He delivered Asiwaju Tinubu in 1999, Fashola in 2009, Ambode in 2015, and delivered Sanwo-Olu in 2019.
In the same vein, the secretary of the forum, Hon. Smart Onyia said, “I want to commend President Ogbonna. He has the magic wand and has come to display political artistry. He brought life into Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos and he is bringing life into Ohanaeze politics. By creating this political wing, he has succeeded in stopping the problems bedeviling our politics. There are people who bring bad names to Igbos because they occupy political hierarchy. They are political burden. They rain curses on Ndigbo. They can’t go to the East. Igbos don’t want to hear such again, they call themselves apex leader yet they have been feeding fat on the government.’