Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, has condemned the ‘killing and targeted burning of Igbo businesses in Lagos’ by political thugs, SaharaReporters reports.
Ohanaeze while calling for the intervention of the international community, asked President Muhammadu Buhari; the president-elect, Bola Tinubu; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, security agencies and indeed all lovers of democracy to rise in defence of democracy in Nigeria.
The group warned that political attacks on Igbo businesses and Igbo people in Lagos State, because they exercised their franchise in Nigeria, have potential unintended consequences, adding that “ignored injustice somewhere will ultimately have reverberations elsewhere and everywhere”.
It had been reported that the Akere Spare Parts Market in Lagos dominated by Igbo traders was burnt in the early hours of Wednesday.
Goods estimated to be worth billions of Naira were destroyed after the arsonists had killed a 65-year-old security guard in the market.
Ohanaeze in a statement issued on Thursday, which was signed by its National Publicity Secretary Dr Alex Ogbonnia, said the burning of the spare parts market, is in consonance with the various threats issued by both the “lowly and barbaric” hoodlums before the general elections that a vote against the All Progressives Congress will incur wrath.
“It is very regrettable that while the several eminent conscientious amongst the Yoruba are lending noble hands for a better Nigeria some miscreants and hoodlums are busy destroying the invaluable cordial relationship between the Igbo and the Yoruba. It is common knowledge that the voting on February 25, 2023 was very blind to ethnicity.
“What the oppressed and the dispossessed masses expressed was a desire to create a new Nigeria through Mr Peter Obi. It goes without saying that it requires an exceptional audacious and capacious un-Nigerian Nigerian to pull Nigeria out of the woods. Anyone who has watched Peter Obi closely since 40 years ago will discern that Obi is specially sent from heaven to redeem Nigeria from its downward spiral.
“But, by the way, the presidential candidate of the APC in the last election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu also enjoyed good Igbo supporters in Lagos. Why all these,” Ohanaeze queried.
Ohanaeze reminded those attacking Igbo people in Lagos that their persecutions are not likely to stop the Igbo entrepreneurship, cosmopolitanism and resilience, adding that Igbo people are found everywhere to be hard-working.
“They strive to cooperate with and add vital infrastructural values to the host community. This is the ideal, worthy of emulation.
“It must also be pointed out that before the general election, various ethnic cultural groups such as the Afenifere, an umbrella socio-cultural organisation for the Yoruba; the PANDEF, the Middle Belt, Arewa groups, among others were at the forefront of the Obi-Datti movement and thousands of Yoruba youths were deeply committed to the cause.
“Based on the foregoing, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide restrains from viewing the barbaric attack on Igbo traders with an ethnic stereotype; rather all men of goodwill are enjoined to rise in one voice to condemn the primitive and primordial display of vile hate against the Igbo.”
Ohanaeze recalled how before the election, Baale (local chief) of Igbara community, Jakande, in Eti-Osa local government area of Lagos State made an incendiary speech wherein he stated that “only residents who have their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and are ready to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) would be allowed to do business with us in this community”.
Also in April 2015, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu threatened Igbo people living in Lagos that “anyone that fails to vote for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) would perish in the Lagoon”.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation noted that these subversive and inflammable remarks by the elite who should lead the way are the vices which stand at variance with the principles of cohesion, peace, security and sustainable national development.
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