Lagos Guber Race: Threats on Ndigbo as a Joke

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau

The open threats and unwarranted physical attacks on Lagos residents from other ethnic groups, especially the Igbos (Ndigbo), whenever there is a governorship elections in the state of aquatic splendour calls for concern.

It is fast becoming a norm for the Igbos living in Lagos to pursue their legitimate means of livelihood to be made scapegoat in
each election cycle with hoodlums and even some persons known to the country’s security agencies making threats on Ndigbo.

The Igbos who are one of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria, with Hausas and Yorubas being the other two, have been on the receiving end anytime there is a general election in Nigeria, especially the Lagos state governorship election and presidential election.

In the past elections, Ndigbo have been made scapegoat, starting from the 1993 presidential election which late Chief Moshood Abiola was said to have won before it was annulled by the military junta led by ex-General Ibrahim Babangida.

The aftermath of the annulment was the post elections riots which broke out across the country cost Ndigbo dearly as many of the people from the South East geopolitical zone lost their livelihoods and even their lives in what was referred to as ‘Aso Abiola’.

From North to South and Western part of Nigeria, Ndigbo were threatened with harm and made to panic hence there was pandemonium and many parked up and left their bases for home, and in the process several Igbos lost their hard earned properties while other lost their lives trying to flee hostilities meted out to them in their own country.

Again, from 1999 till date, Ndigbo have been bearing the brunt of post elections riots across Nigeria even when their sons or daughters were not standing elections outside the Igbo land especially in Lagos state just as in 2017, it was the Arewa Youths that met in Kaduna to equally give Igbos the ultimatum to vacate the North. Their “Quit Notice” was for three months yet nothing happened to those who issued the ultimatum.

There have been a long history of threats to Igbos in the country especially in Lagos dating back to post colonial Nigeria; immediately after and as recent as in 2019 when the highly respected Oba of Lagos, HRM Oba Akiolu, was clearly heard threatening Igbos to vote for the incumbent Governor Babagide Sanwo-Olu or they will be thrown into the Lagos Lagoon.

But the recent threats issued 24 hours to the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in Lagos state by the Lagos State Parks Management Committee Chairman, Musiliu Akinsanya, better known as MC Oluomo, who warned Igbos in the state ahead of this Saturday’s elections, left a sour taste in the mouth of many decent people.

This is even as the threats which have gone viral are not the first time the so-called Oluomo will be making these threats to fellow citizens of Nigeria and the authorities will let them slide and nothing will happen to this person who is an appointee of the Lagos state government which is a part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

MC Oluomo, addressing supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in a viral video, threatened Igbos who will not vote for the party to stay at home.

“We have begged them. If they don’t want to vote for us, it is not a fight. Tell them, mama Chukwudi, if you don’t want to vote for us, sit down at home. Sit down at home,” he said.

Sadly, ever since that MC Oluomo’s viral video became a subject of national discussion, we have not heard that the Nigerian
Police or sister security agencies especially those incharge of internal subversive activities have invited him, not to talk of arresting him.

Also, non of prominent Nigerians, elder statesmen, politicians and faith-based institutions have condemned these threats to fellow citizens living in Lagos, not to talk of a rebuke from Lagos state and Federal Government of Nigeria to MC Oluomo.

More disappointing is the statement credited to Force spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi who described threats by MC Oluomo against Igbos as a joke. Really? A joke? Threats to lives a joke?

Speaking on Channels Television network programme on 2023 Elections on Friday, Adejobi who was reacting to the
viral video which surfaced online of MC Oluomo threatening Igbos in Lagos State against voting for another political party, poured cold water on the threats.

Said he: “nobody has the right to stop the people of Lagos from voting for the candidate of their choice. I assure that the Lagos State Police Command has commenced an investigation into MC Oluomo’s inciting comments.

“I saw a video of MC Oluomo with one mama Chidinma – an Igbo woman debunking that threat, that it’s not true, it’s just a joke he was making with a particular woman. So, let us take it as a joke, like he said.

“But, nobody has the right and audacity to tell Nigerians not to come out and vote; it’s not allowed and not proper. MC Oluomo has come out to debunk it, so let’s leave it that it’s not true”.

Like the Police Spokesman (Adejobi) has suggested, let Nigerians believe that MC Oluomo and his Gangs are joking making these threats and hope that it remains a joke on the surface but not turn real after the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections have been won and lost in Lagos and other 28 states of the federation where Governorship and House of Assembly elections will hold.

Attacks on Ndigbo despite their huge contributions in nation-building dating back to the pre-independent era when the likes of prominent Igbos like Dr. Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe, Owelle Osowanya of Onitsha; Dr. M.I Okpara; Dr. Akanu Ibiam; Mazi Mbaonu Ojike, ‘Boycott King’; Dr. Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe; Dr. Nwafor Orizu and not forgetting Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu who donated his Rolls Royce Luxury Limo which was used to carry the visiting British Monarch who handed Nigerians the realms of power at Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos on October 1, 1960 when Nigeria got her independence from Britain.

Besides, Ndigbo have been in the forefront of Nigeria’s development ditto Lagos with the massive investments in the country especially in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Jos and indeed, in major cities and rural areas in Nigeria, where they found themselves.

They are the only tribe in Nigeria whose people build block houses even in the most remote places in the country where they reside because they believe in Community Development. They are also known to
pay their taxes, levies and contributions wherever they live including Lagos which nobody except MC Oluomo and his goons, that the Igbos in Lagos have helped to develop.

From highbrow Ikoyi where late Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu has many real estate and headquarters of his defunct Ojukwu and Son Transport Company in the 1960s to Victoria Island, Banana Island, Lagos Mainland including Surulere, Ajao Estate, Ilupeju, Apapa, Agegunle, Festac Town, Amuwo-Odofin, Aja,
Navy Town to Alaba International Market and every part of Lagos state, Ndigbo have left their trademark signature of developments.

Above all, Igbos have integrated fully in Lagos with many as old as 70 years born and raised in Lagos and do not know which village their parents came from in the South East. They bear Yoruba names and have inter-married, dating back to third generations, so what is the problem about the Igbos and why would anyone eject citizens of Nigeria from a state in Nigeria.

Let common sense prevail and let Nigerians live in harmony with each other in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

I Rest My Case

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply