A coalition of Igbo Organisations in Lagos (CIO) and the Traditional Council of Eze Ndi Igbo in the state, yesterday, said the Oba of Lagos, HRM, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu II, should be held responsible if any harm befalls the Igbo now, during and after Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.
Reacting to the Monarch’s comments, on Sunday, that the Igbo would perish in Lagos Lagoon within seven days if they did not vote Akinwunmi Ambode, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate and his anointed standard bearer, the groups said the statement was a threat of well-orchestrated genocide against Igbo not only in Lagos but also in all parts of the country.
The CIO, at a meeting held at National Stadium, Lagos, addressed by Prince Andy Moore Ezejioha (Ndigbo Equity and Justice Initiative), Prince Solomon Ify Ominyi (Igbo Justice Congress) and Chief Amobi Moghalu among others, the Oba’s statement was described as “clearly a threat to life and security of Igbo living in Lagos in this election season and afterwards… it is an incursion on the right of Igbo to freely vote for the candidate of their choice in the election and is not only meant to give Ambode undue advantage but also to cow Igbo into political slavery.
“This is where the CIO is concerned. We henceforth call on Igbo to come out en mass to prove the royal father wrong by voting for the candidate of their choice. While we call on the Police and other security agencies to fortify all polling booths in Lagos to ensure that voters are not molested or intimidated, we further state that we shall hold His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu responsible if harm befalls any Igbo person in any circumstances in this 2015 election season and beyond.”
Also speaking, the Traditional Council of Eze Ndi Igbo in Lagos, in a statement by Eze Dr Anthony Elui (Chairman) and Chief John Uche (Igbo Leaders delegate) viewed the Oba’s threat “with every iota of seriousness, as well conceived, with adequate modalities in place for achieving same and perfected by the monarch, as such statement was made out of the abundance of the heart as against being proverbial as subsequent interveners will want to paint it.
“It is a clandestine and calculated attempt to wipe out the Igbo indigenes in Lagos and in Nigeria as a whole. It is totally unacceptable and more instigating having emanated from a first class and supposedly respectable first class monarch.
“We call on the monarch to retract the said statement forthwith and tender an unreserved apology to the Igbo in Lagos. The monarch should also assure the Igbo in Lagos as to the safety of their lives and properties. It is only by doing these things that we the Council of Eze Ndi Igbo of Lagos State will be assured that our people are safe. Otherwise, we shall be forced to seek appropriate legal protection locally and internationally for our people in Lagos.”
Meanwhile, the World Igbo Congress (WIC), the umbrella organization of Ndigbo in the Diaspora, told Ndigbo residing in Lagos State not to be intimidated by any form of threat because they are guaranteed of equal protection of the law like every other Nigerian as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.
“We call on those who have the ears of Oba Rilwan Akiolu to be guided accordingly and contain his excesses as the Igbo will no longer condone the ignorance and primordial sentiments that informed such dastardly initiatives as the Abandoned Property saga in a country that is purported to be ‘One Nation with One Destiny’,” a joint statement by Larry Udorji (chairman), Cyril Nwaguru (secretary-general) and Jimmy Asiegbu (public relations officer) said.
“We hereby put the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan; the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman A. Abba; all South East Governors and all the Igbo members of the Federal and State Houses of Assembly on notice that our people, the Igbo, will take necessary action to defend Igbo lives and property.”
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