Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has described the continuous attacks on the Igbos residing in Lagos State as unacceptable.
Attacks on Igbos in Lagos have persisted after the presidential election. The President-elect, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, lost his home state, Lagos, to Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
The Igbo group was reacting to the arson on Akere market, dominated by Igbo traders. A security guard was killed during the incident carried out by suspected political thugs, with over 200 shops burnt.
Ohanaeze youths, in a statement on Friday by its National President, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike said some personalities, including Femi Fani-Kayode, should be arrested for making inciting statements earlier before the attack.
The APC chieftain had accused the Labour Party governorship candidate in Lagos State, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of playing Igbo cards.
According to Fani-Kayode: “How can such a well brought up & distinguished young man be one of those that joined the mob to burn buses during the Endsars riots?
“How can he be one of those that turns his back on his own Yoruba people, hero worship secessionists like Ojukwu & conspire to hand over Lagos to the Igbo. Can any Igbo man do that for a Yoruba in the East? Is he aware of what the Yoruba were subjected to in parts of the east during the just concluded presidential election?
“Does he know the number of Igbos that were killed, tortured & whose homes were burnt in the east simply because they dared to vote for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a Yoruba man?
“I love the Igbo & I believe in a plural society which welcomes all ethnic nationalities & creeds but to hand Lagos over to them as a way of compensating them for their past woes is absurd.
“That would be absurd and suicidal and we will NEVER allow it to see the light of day. What happened to this otherwise brilliant and cerebral young man called Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour? What has got into him? Is he possessed? Is he in need of prayer and deliverance?”
Reacting to the developments, Ohanaeze said the burning of the spare parts market was a case of “a witch crying in the night and a baby dying in the morning.”
The apex Igbo group said: “Fani-Kayode and his ilks prepared the ground for the mayhem being unleashed on the Igbo people in Lagos. Apart from the market fire, many Igbo people have been attacked in different parts of Lagos.
“There are also reports of some Igbo traders being chased away from their shops. This is totally uncalled for, unacceptable and should end forthwith.
“Ndigbo has suffered enough injustice in this country and it should not be allowed to continue. It is incomprehensible that Fani-Kayode should brand the LP candidate as an IPOB apologist. What it means is that Fani-Kayode’s children from his estranged wife Chinwendu are all IPOB members.
“We know Fani-Kayode as a man without character; he says one thing in the morning and another in the afternoon, changes again in the night once the food is dangled before him.
“However, he should let Ndigbo be and not drag us into his inconsistent personality. His claims of supporters of Tinubu being killed in the South-East during the presidential election is just one of those his moonlight tales and should be discountenanced.
“Both local and international observers were in the South-East during the polls and attested to the fact that the people of the South-East disappointed bookmakers, including Fani-Kayode who prepared the zone for a bloodbath. He is angry that Ndigbo came out to vote.
“Having said this, we urge the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government and Governor Sanwo-Olu to ensure the protection of Igbo people in Lagos.
“Nobody is above the law; this is why Fani-Kayode and his paymasters should be held responsible for all the atrocities against Ndigbo in Lagos. He must surely be held liable.
“Nobody, I repeat nobody can intimidate Ndigbo in this country; any other further attack on Igbos in Lagos will be resisted, no matter those behind the preparators.
“Ndigbo should go out on March 18 and cast their votes for the candidate of their choice.
“May we remind Fani-Kayode and his ethnic jingoists that a Fulani man from Sifawa in Sokoto Caliphate – Mallam Umaru Altine, in 1952, became elected as the first Mayor of the City of Enugu, the heartland and heartbeat of the Igbo Nation. He was in office till 1958.
“This goes on to show that the Igbo are never the problem of this country but are rather more accommodating than anyone else. We should not be pushed any further,” Okwu warned.