WADOO!!NEWS: Threat to Ndigbo: Ignore Oba Akiolu; Clark, Tinubu tell non-indigenes
ELDER statesman and South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday, urged non-indigenes in Lagos State, especially the Igbo, to ignore the Oba of Lagos, HRM Rilwan Akiolu’s death threat within seven days if they did not vote for the APC governorship candidate, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode.
While Tinubu assured the Igbo in Lagos that they need not be afraid and that they would never be discriminated against, he said those who visited the Oba should have come to the political leaders of the state and not the monarch.
Speaking at APC governorship campaign rally at Coker, Orile-Iganmu, Tinubu said: “PDP is full of liars. Their leader in Lagos, Bode George is a liar, the other person, an Igbo man, Ifeanyi Ubah, is also a liar. Ubah knows that we are the political leaders but the Obas are not, ignore whatever they say on politics.
“That was why he planned to visit the Oba of Lagos. We are the politicians, why didn’t he come to us? He held a meeting with some Igbo in the PDP in Sheraton and later went to the palace. He knows that we are the leaders politically, the Oba is not a politician, he welcomes whoever comes to him. We are the politicians, don’t let anyone put you in trouble.”
Clark advises Akiolu to respect laws of the land
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Chief Clark urged non-indigenes to “ignore the threat of Oba Akiolu and join other Lagosians to vote en-masse for Jimi Agbaje.”
Clark advised the monarch to respect the laws of the land because he is not above the law.
The former Federal Commissioner for Information, who alleged that Oba Akiolu preferred Ambode whom he claims hails from Ilaje in Ondo State, to Jimmy Agbaje, his brother who is a native of Lagos, said: “It is most disheartening to learn today that the Oba of Lagos is pouring acidic vitriol on non-Yoruba in Lagos, singling out the Igbo, for voting President Goodluck Jonathan, in last week’s election.
“It is doubly shameful, most unbecoming of the standard set by previous Obas of Lagos like Oba Oyekan that Oba Akiolu is reported to have threatened to throw all those who voted in Lagos State against the APC into the waters of Lagos. What would possess the occupier of such an important stool in Nigeria to commit himself in partisan politics to the extent of threatening life and safety, before the voting, and within a week of Mr. President’s display of statesman-like handling of political outcomes?”
Tinubu and Clark spoke as apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, condemned the Oba’s comments and urged the Igbo in Lagos to be courageous and vote candidates of their choice in Saturday’s election.
Other people and groups who spoke on the issue include the Lagos State APC, which apologised to Ndigbo over the Oba’s comment; APC Presidential candidate, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd); Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos and former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi.
We can’t hold Oba culpabe —IGP
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba, yesterday, said he would not initiate moves to prosecute the monarch because he has denied the allegations.
Speaking after a meeting with DIGs, AIGs and Command CPs on arrangements for the elections, in an answer to a question on the issue, Abba said: “All I can say is that I read in the papers that the Oba of Lagos denied making such threatening comments to prospective voters opposed to his candidate of choice for the state governor. Therefore, he cannot be held culpable. I, as the IGP cannot initiate moves to prosecute the Oba or say anything on the matter because the paramount ruler has denied making such statement.’’
Ndigbo must not succumb to intimidation —Ohanaeze
Also speaking after consultations with Igbo leaders, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in a statement by its President-General, Gary Enwo-Igariwey, viewed the Oba’s threat “with serious concern especially coming from a first class traditional ruler in the country at a time when Nigerians are celebrating the peaceful conduct of the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.”
He said: “As a people, Ndigbo live in all parts of the country and have respect for the culture and traditions of their host communities, including Lagos. We, therefore, have respect for the ancient heritage of the throne the Oba of Lagos occupies.
“Lagos, by its special designation in the country, for over a century, has been home to all tribes from far and near. The Lagos we see today, is the product of the sweat of all Nigerians.
“Democracy is about free choice based on interests. It is the right of every Nigerian to exercise that freedom of choice freely given by the Nigerian constitution.
“It is, therefore, the responsibility of all political parties in the country to pursue programmes that address the interests of the electorate from which they make their choice. Ndigbo and indeed all Nigerians should be free to make their choice.
“Ohanaeze, therefore, directs Ndigbo to be bold and courageous as always and vote massively for any candidate of their choice based on their conscience and interests without fear.
“As a people, Ndigbo cannot and should not succumb to any form of intimidation from any quarters no matter the consequences, especially in a place they have laboured with others to build. Ndigbo are interested in building a nation where all Nigerians are free to live and develop in any part of the country in harmony with other nationalities without discrimination.
“We, therefore, wish to bring this threat to the notice of the Governor of Lagos State, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, the Inspector-General of Police, The Presidency and the international community, including the International Criminal Court of Justice, ICC, to ensure the safety of life and properties of Ndigbo and indeed all Nigerians, at all times.”
I hope Oba of Lagos was misquoted — Obi
In his reaction, Mr. Peter Obi said he was still in a state of unbelief and prayed it would turn out that the revered Oba was either misquoted or quoted out of context. Obi, who spoke at a social function in Umuoji, Anambra, lamented how similar unguarded statements made Igbo people leave the North in droves.
He said the recent statement, if true, by a revered traditional ruler is worrisome, inflammatory and capable of truncating the unity of the country, which he said is at variance with the stand of President Jonathan towards the election that had engendered peace in the country and trust among Nigerian’s many ethnic groups.
Yoruba Obas don’t recant —Osun APC
The Osun chapter of the APC urged Nigerians of South-East extraction not to take the statements credited to the Oba of Lagos on its face value but rather do soul-searching in order to fully comprehend its import.
The party, in a statement by its Director of Research and Publicity, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, said a Yoruba Oba does not recant over what he says because his words are expected to be mythical and thought through.
The party stated: “Let it be said that the title of all our Obas is Kabiyesi. The meaning is that our Obas are mythical. Whenever they say anything, nobody can challenge it. We have heard what they have said and with due reference to democracy, and the culture, we do not in anyway challenge the right of any individual or group to their right to their opinions.
“And it is the same right the Oba has to express himself. Nobody must interpret his statements literally because he knows and we all know that nobody has the power of life and death outside God and our laws. To fully understand him, what Oba Akiolu said is that nobody can come to our land, offend our institutions, traditions and our culture and go free.”
Lagos too important for APC to lose —Buhari
Speaking at the APC campaign rally in Lagos, General Buhari said Lagos remains a mini-Nigeria and cannot be on the wrong side of the centre.
Buhari said: “Lagos is too important for APC to lose and I am calling on Lagosians to ensure this assignment is properly done because billions of Naira of Nigeria’s investment cannot be joked with. Don’t attempt to be on the wrong side of the centre.
“Before the Presidential elections, Governor Fashola informed me of the huge funds spent by the state government to maintain the federal infrastructures in this state. I told him that day that if I win the presidential elections, I will give Lagos State serious priority and I urge the incoming governor, Mr Akinwumi Ambode, to remind me of my promise when he gets to office.”
He, however, assured different tribes living in Lagos that they stand to benefit more if APC is voted at the forthcoming governorship and House of Assembly elections.’’
There’ll be no discrimination against anyone —Fashola
Also speaking at the rally, Fashola said there will not be discrimination against anybody in Lagos irrespective of ethnic or religious background.
He said: “The sign of the compensation that General Buhari promised is around the corner and we don’t want to throw it away at this time. All the suffering of 16 years is over with the last Presidential elections and I can assure you that there will be no discrimination against anyone in the state. Even if you didn’t support us during the last election, that doesn’t mean you cannot support us now in the governorship elections.
“We have been in the opposition for over 16 years and the state was denied all it should get by the party at the centre. At the moment, the Federal Government owes Lagos State N51 billion which is the money we spent maintaining federal infrastructure especially roads in the state.
“For 16 years without the Federal Government support, we survived. We were creative and determined and now that we have taken over the central government, we don’t want to remain in the opposition. The change that must happen in Lagos is continuity, so that Lagos can benefit from the centre. This state has been blessed by its rich in diversity and we have several ethnic groups in the state who see this place as their home.”
We’ve never discriminated against anyone — Tinubu
In like manner, Tinubu said Lagos State government had never discriminated against anyone and will never do so.
His words: “We have never discriminated against anyone in Lagos. We pay WAEC fees of students in the public schools irrespective of the state they come from. Every year, we organize Spelling Bee competitions and it has been won most times by children of the Igbo in this state. One of them is Ebuka, an indigene of Anambra State. He won the spelling bee competition. We didn’t say because he is Igbo, we should turn him down. We did not discriminate against him, he acted as one-day governor.
“So Igbo cannot say they have not governed Lagos because Ebuka acted as one day governor here. We sent Ebuka to Switzerland for training, we also sent him to a computer school. He went to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and got his degree before going back for his masters on our scholarship. He now works for Oando as executive and he is in Canada as we speak.”
Lagos APC’s pact with Igbo intact — Ajomale
On his part, the Lagos APC chairman, Otunba Oladele Ajomale, said the pact of solidarity and mutual goodwill between the party and Ndigbo in Lagos is intact, assuring that the mutual understanding cannot be truncated by the PDP.
Ajomale, who reacted to the recent remarks of Oba Akiolu, said whatever statement that was credited to the revered royal father was made in his private capacity as the Oba of Lagos, adding that the palace could not have spoken for the party.
He cautioned against any attribution by unscrupulous politicians, especially political foes, in a bid to gain undue political advantage in Saturday’s governorship election, adding that the plot will collapse like a pack of cards.
Ajomale said in a statement in Lagos that while the monarch had the constitutional liberty to speak on any matter that concerns his domain, he should not be perceived as speaking the mind of the party, whose membership is drawn from all the ethnic groups in Lagos.
He added: “We as a party hold the Olowo-Eko, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, in high esteem. But, any statement purportedly made by the royal father was made in his capacity as the traditional ruler of Lagos and not on behalf of our party, although we assume that he may have been quoted out of context. It is mischievous for unscrupulous elements to now twist the remarks of the Oba which he has immediately clarified in the media, in a way to erroneously convey the wrong and misguided impression that he spoke for our great party.”
Oba has deep hatred for Igbo —IYM
Evangelist Elliot Uko, founder of the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) and leader of the South-East Self Determination Group (SESDG), in his reaction said: “What the Oba is saying is that I should make life difficult for my security guard, his wife and two children who told me he believes in Buhari and voted APC. The Oba is also saying that the Igwe of my community should kill all non-indigenes in my home-town who voted APC, place a curse on them or ask all the area boys to drown them in the village river.
‘’He is saying that democracy does not exist in Nigeria and every traditional ruler has the right to insult, harass, intimidate and command people from other ethnic groups in their domain to vote the way the Oba likes or face intimidation. The Oba has confirmed a deep hatred for Ndigbo because we all know that he cannot talk to the Ijaw like that. Fear will not let him talk to the Hausa-Fulani like that. The Igbo are the only people he can abuse and humiliate confirming that the boys who stormed the Enugu Radio Station with Biafran flag, not long ago, were probably right that Ndigbo are hated and despised in Nigeria. What the Oba is letting the whole world know is that come May 29, Nigeria will embark on the road to Armageddon.’’
It’s unacceptable —Igbo Professionals
Also, an Igbo group, Igbo Professionals Lagos, IPL, described the Oba’s comments as unacceptable, regrettable and unfortunate.
In a statement, yesterday, by its Convener, Mazi Chigo Ukatah, the IPL said: “This insult on the Igbo is getting out of hand. We’re shocked to read the vituperations ascribed to the Royal Father who in the first instance should be apolitical and a father to all. We’re further confounded that the Oba of Lagos, who should know the meaning of democracy has gone above board to declare what we consider may engulf the nation in yet another civil war. The Yoruba and Igbo have been living harmoniously together but this callous, unguarded statement of a ‘father for all’’ has shown the type of father he is.
‘’We state unequivocally that the Igbo who are industrious and law-abiding citizens of Lagos State will not constitute nuisance to the law but would not be pushed to the wall by anybody. Anyone who pushes us to the wall will bear the full brunt of Igbo. We’re not afraid of anything. Anyone who tries to push us to the ocean will be dragged into the ocean…We call on world leaders and well-meaning Nigerians to hold Oba Akiolu responsible when the war he has declared against Igbo begin to rage. The Igbo will vote their conscience in Lagos,’’ he added.
Oba can’t impose Ambode on Lagosians —Bode George
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Leader, Chief Bode George, said the Oba’s statement was uncalled for adding that nobody should be threatened to vote for any candidate.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, George condemned the Oba’s utterances and asked him to apologise to the Igbo immediately because as the father of all he has no business dabbling into politics.
While appealing to non-indigenes, particularly Igbo, to come out en-masse and vote for the PDP in the April 11 governorship and State Assembly election, he said the threat was an empty one. ‘’Let me assure all non-indigenes, especially the Igbo, nobody can decree the day you will die. It is just an empty threat”, he said.
George said the PDP deliberately decided to field non-indigenes in areas where they are in majority in the general election as a means of giving them a sense of belonging, a thing the APC failed to do, adding that the APC would lose the governorship election.
It’s a shame —Nwulu, Reps-elect
Also reacting, the Oshodi Isolo Constituency II House of Representatives member-elect of the PDP in Lagos, Mr Tony Nwulu, said that such utterances coming from an Oba is a shame to the traditional institution.
Nwulu said “I want to condemn the utterance of the Oba for such a threat at a time when Nigerians were bent on maintaining the fragile peace achieved after the presidential elections. I am moved to address this briefing because I see a deliberate attempt by the Oba in collaboration with the APC to coerce non-indigenes against their will.”
“The PDP has given the Igbo in Lagos, three House of Representatives seats. The Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba alike and other ethnic groups know who their friends are. Those inducing any group with money will just be wasting it because the people will vote for them. We will resist all intimidation. This is democracy, he said.”
Group urges Buhari to call Lagos monarch to order
Lagosians for Real Change, a political action group affiliated to the PDP, has called on the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari to call the Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu to order, stressing that the peace of all Lagosians supersedes anyone’s, no matter how highly placed and political agenda.
In a statement, by Demola Olanrewaju, its co-ordinator, the group said it finds the threat by the Lagos monarch very disturbing and should be investigated.
It called on the leadership of the APC to publicly reprimand the monarch for invoking the name of Allah to threaten Christian Igbo in his palace.
“The Oba repeatedly said Insha Allah several times while speaking with the Igbo who are largely Christians. We believe that General Buhari should publicly condemn him in order not to play into the hands of those who said he is an Islamic fundamentalist,” the group added.
Posted on April 8, 2015, in NEWS and tagged apc, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Edwin Clark, death threat, HRM Rilwan Akiolu, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, South-South Leader. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.