News

May 2, 2023

We’re not at war with Yoruba in Lagos – Ndigbo

Igbo Presidency: How best to realise it

Bayo Onanuga fanning embers of ethnic war, says Bode George

By Dapo Akinrefon

Following the ethnic profiling and violence that charaterised the just general elections, some South East leaders under the auspice of Anya Ndigbo, yesterday, declared that  Igbo people are not at war with Yoruba people in Lagos just as they expressed worry that Igbo people now live in fear in the state.

This came as former Deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode George condemned the ethnic profiling against Igbo people saying it negates the culture of Lagos people.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Anya Ndigbo, Dr Uma Eleazu spoke when he led a delegation of  Anya Ndigbo met with George at his Lugard office in Ikoyi, Lagos.  

Other members of the group present at the meeting include Mr Emeka Ugwu-Oju Mr Ben Akah, President of the South East Town Unions in Lagos, Chief Amaechi Ebeledike; Segun Adebanjo, Elvira Salleras and Mr Ikechukwu Amaechi.

We’re not at war with Yoruba in Lagos— Ndigbo

In his remarks, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Anya Ndigbo, Dr Uma Eleazu said Igbo people are worried over events that charaterised the general elections adding that fake news were generated to target Igbo people.

He, however, faulted those peddling news that Igbo people want to take over Lagos.

Lamenting that Igbo now live in fear in the state, Eleazu said: “Some faceless people are going round fomenting trouble for Igbo people.”

His words: “There is a development we noticed in the last election, it turned out to be a do-or-die affair. If you do a content analysis of the just concluded elections, the words that were used were worrisome. These are words that create fear in the minds of people. In the last election, it went beyond that. In an attempt to dissuade people from voting, we saw one ethnic nationality brought out to be antagonized and given names. 

“This had nothing to do with politics and it created fear in an attempt to degrade and dissuade people from coming out to vote. 

So, our people felt there was need to talk to leaders like you because we have heard some people say that Igbo and Yoruba are going to fight for Lagos. This is misinformation and it outs fears in the minds of the people, they are asking whether the Igbo people are safe because we have been here for a long time.

“So, our coming to you is tell you that the Igbo people are not in Lagos for a war or a fight. We are in Lagos to earn a living and yo contribute to the development of the place where we are making a living.

“As a leader, we are telling you what we feel because most of our people are now afraid. Some faceless people are going round fomenting trouble for Igbo people. The latest one is that they said Igbo traders want to close their markets for two weeks. These are fake news.

Please help us in spreading the word that Igbo people are not at war with Yoruba people in Lagos State.

“We are not planning any and as ai said, we are here to do our business and we don’t want to be molested. We need to douse this tension so that everyone will live in peace.”

Bayo Onanuga fanning embers of ethnic war, says Bode George

In his response, the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland, Chief Olabode George lampooned Mr Bayo Onanuga, spokesperson to the President-elect over his anti-Igbo comments.

He also accused Onanuga of fanning the embers of ethnic war.

George, who disclosed that Lagos elders, irrespective of political affiliation, will meet to restore the Lagos culture.

He said: “I see that the misinformation grew because the Nigerian government stopped teaching history, which was a fundamental mistake on the part of our country. If you don’t learn about your past, you will repeat the same mistakes going forward. 

“And until now, Bayo Onanuga has not apologized for the comment and I expect Prof Wole Soyinka to tell him to apologize rather than be abusing Datti Baba-Ahmed. That was a mis-normal, senseless and insane to make that kind of comment in a country where we are still trying to build the nation. 

“How can you tell them that they can’t come here? Is that the culture of Lagos? Lagos is the commercial-nerve centre not only for Nigeria but for the whole of West Africa.

 

“I believe that there is a new move in Lagos and the elders of the real Lagosians are going to meet because you don’t come here to come and define our culture. The culture that has existed. 

“I want to apologize publicly for the statement by Bayo Onanuga. 

“So, I want to apologize as a true born and genuine Lagosian that that is not our style and attitude. We must stop it. 

“If Bayo Onanuga is not careful, we will also ban him from Lagos. He can’t talk on behalf of Lagosians. What authority does he has to make such a comment? 

“I am sure that there is a move by elders too to get the real Lagosians, respective of political leaning, to come together, let us safe the culture that was handed over to us by our forefathers. Nobody can start to manipulate or re-write the history of our state.”