Sequel to the statement by the Lagos State Police Command about an impending attack on the city of Lagos by IPOB, and the consequent rebuttals by IPOB and many Yoruba groups, the Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Worldwide led by its President General, Ambassador Prof. George Obiozor, along with other Igbo leaders, yesterday paid a courtesy visit on the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Government House, Marina, Lagos.
The Igbo delegation commended the governor for the able way he has been managing the affairs of the state, especially during the COVID- 19 period as well as for the freshness he has brought to governance.
The delegation commended the governor for according them audience within a short notice.
“Your Excellency, we thank you most sincerely for the honour of this emergency visit which you have graciously granted us inspite of the short notice of our request for an audience with you”, Prof Obiozor said.
” Today,” said Obiozor, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in the company of Igbo Elders and Leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live in any part of the country and the world at large”.
The elder statesman and accomplished scholar and diplomat lamented: “I read with great concern, the news that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are planning to unleash violence in some parts of Lagos State. Ndigbo as law abiding citizens of the state have special interest in the peace and tranquility of Lagos State, and it will be nowhere in their interest to contemplate any acts of violence in Lagos State.”
Prof Obiozor stated that it is evident that Lagos has a high concentration of Igbo population and investments which make it highly improbable that they should resort to or support acts of violence in Lagos, which is the second home of several Ndigbo.
“The quick denial of this rumor by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the South West was a source of relief,” Obiozor enthused, pointing out that he was aware that the Government and good people of Lagos State under Sanwo-Olu’s able leadership, and through their hospitable gestures, have continually kept the trust and friendship between Ndigbo and their host communities in Lagos State alive.
“Ndigbo ” the Ohanaexe leader insisted, “cannot indulge in any act that will harm this harmonious peace and cordial relationship.”We think that this rumour is intended to distract the Lagos State Government from its efforts to provide good governance for all and cause disaffection between Ndigbo who live in Lagos and their host communities.”
He told the governor: “Ohanaeze , through this medium, reiterates total support for the State Government and
the security agencies in their patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in Lagos and throughout the country.”
The Igbo nation, according to Prof Obiozor,” is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders, and their contribution to the development of Lagos State is evident and exemplary.”
While expressing their gratitude to the governor for welcoming them , the Ohanaeze leader, regretted that” the constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumors, gossips and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yorubaland contemplate or instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land; we wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumors or statements are emanating from, they are aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.”
He claimed that in the past, Divide and Rule tactics were used to divide the Igbo and the Yoruba.
He enjoined Ndigbo and Yoruba leaders: ” Never again will Ndigbo be victims of circumstances they did not create or which they cannot control alone., The history of Nigeria in general, Lagos and Yorubaland in particular, can bear witness that Ndigbo are nation builders not violent people. “