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April 2, 2023

Threat to Invite IPOB to Lagos: Mixed reactions trail arrest of Eze Ndigbo

Eze Igbo in Lagos

Eze Igbo

•We have not abolished Igbo title – State govt

Following a 49-second video shared on Twitter on Friday, threatening to invite members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB) to secure the properties of Igbo people in Lagos, Eze Ndigbo of Ajao Estate, Lagos, Fredrick Nwajagu, has been arrested.

The arrest immediately generated mixed reactions. While some people hailed the arrest, others condemned it, wondering why others who made worse ethnic remarks had not been arrested.

Nwajagu was nabbed after a midnight raid by the Nigeria Police and Department of State Service (DSS) operatives who stormed his palace in Ajao Estate but found that he had fled. He was later traced to a hotel in Ejigbo where he was apprehended.
He is currently in the custody of the DSS.

Confirming the arrest on phone, spokesperson for Lagos State Police Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said: ”Yes, Fredrick Nwajagu was arrested on Saturday.“““And he is in DSS custody.““Investigation is ongoing”.

It will be recalled that Nwajagu, on Friday, vowed to invite members of IPoB to Lagos to secure properties of Igbo people in the state.
He said the move became necessary in the wake of attacks on Igbo people in Lagos.
The Igbo leader said he stood by his words, insisting that his people must take a stand in Lagos.

Reacting to the arrest, Okechukwu Nwagunma, Executive Director, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, RULAAC, stated: “I have no problem with the man being arrested by the DSS if, indeed, he threatened to invite IPOB to Lagos.

“But I have a problem with the fact that hoodlums and political thugs who issued threats and made good their threats and attacked Igbo people in Lagos have not first been arrested. This is ethnic discrimination in law enforcement.”

Intimidation

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives member-elect for Ideato North, South Federal Constituency of Imo State, Ikenga Ugochinyere, has called on the DSS to immediately release the Ezeigbo.

Ugochinyere, in a statement, also called for the arrest of Lagos election violence promoters.

He recalled what he described as the intimidation unleashed on Igbo people residing in Lagos before and during the just concluded elections.

“Are the security agencies now engaging in preferential treatment? Are the DSS and the police for the protection of lives and properties of the people of Nigeria or are they only serving the interest of the ruling government? APC spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, after the emergence of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the Lagos gubernatorial poll, threatened that Igbo should never interfere in Lagos politics. He later described the Igbo as a threat to the Yoruba, yet he hasn’t been arrested,” he said.
However, the Igbo Council Of Ndieze distanced itself from the Nwajiagu video.

In a related development, the Chairman of Ndieze Council, Eze Christopher Offia, last night, expressed disappointment with the viral video.

Eze Offia, who spoke on behalf of the Council of Ndieze in Lagos, condemned Nwajiagu, saying he is not their member.
He said: ”The Council of Ndieze Ndigbo Lagos State hereby disassociate ourselves from Eze Frederick Nwajiagu’s (Eze Ndigbo Ajao Estate) threat to invite IPOB to Lagos.

“Frederick Nwajiagu is not our spokesman and he’s not representing Council of Ndieze Ndigbo Lagos State either.
“Therefore, he should be held responsible and accountable for his actions”.

Release demand

In another reaction, Igbo youths under the aegis of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, demanded the immediate release of Nwajagu.

COSEYL, in a statement by its President General, Goodluck Ibem, described Nwajagu’s arrest as an insult and affront to the entire Igbo nation.

It said the arrest was more annoying when people “like MC Oluomo who threatened Igbo are moving about freely.”

According to the group, the “so-called threat by Nwajagu was a child of necessity following the docility of security agencies over the incessant senseless attacks against Igbo interests in Lagos.

“The statement by the Igbo leader was made because of the silence of the security agencies towards the attack on the Igbos in Lagos. The DSS and the police left the real cause of the problem to chase shadows.

“This same police and DSS that arrested Eze Fredrick Nwajagu and other innocent Igbos, what did they do when thugs were killing and attacking Igbo and their properties in Lagos during and after the general elections? The answer is nothing.

“Now the person who intends to make a move to protect himself and you go and arrest him, meaning that you want him to stand without doing anything and be killed?

“That is absolute balderdash. Only a tree will hear that you will cut him down tomorrow and he will still stand in the same place without making a move”.

‘April Fool’

Also, yesterday, Lagos State government said it had not abolished Eze Ndigbo title in the state, describing the report making the rounds as ‘April Fool’.

The clarification came following a viral report on social media that the state government had abolished Eze Ndigbo title in Lagos.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said, “It seems like ‘April Fool’. Let’s ignore now.”