BEING TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY CONCERNED IGBO STAKEHOLDERS AT AIRPORT HOTEL, IKEJA LAGOS. TODAY, WEDNESDAY, 8TH OF MARCH, 2023.
Gentlemen of the press,
We welcone you all to this press conference put together to clarify where Ndigbo stand with regards to the up-coming gubernatorial and state assembly elections holding this Saturday and also to throw clarity to some issues that concern Ndigbo here in Lagos.
We, as Igbos living in Lagos made up of traditional rulers, market leaders, Market women, youths, civil society organizations, town unions and other categories of Igbo population in Lagos state as follows;
1. That we endorse and pledge support to the incumbent Governor of Lagos, His Excellency, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his re-election bid. Our support for him is anchored on his performance, competence, cordial relationship with Igbos and his grand vision for Lagos, which has greatly favoured Igbos in the last four years.
Among all contestants for the tasking office of Lagos state Governor in the coming election, Sanwo-Olu is the best; tested and capable so we urge all Igbos to vote for him on Saturday for the continued benefits of Ndigbo.
2. We state unequivocally that Lagos is neither an Igbo State nor a no-man’s land, as some provocatively state. Although Lagos was a former federal capital, it wholly belongs to Yorubas. We therefore dissociate ourselves from any claim that contravenes the fact that Lagos is a Yoruba state and emphatically state that Igbos are not subscribers to the weird position, marketed by mischief makers that Lagos is a no-man’s land. And we pray that we may never use our mouths to say that Lagos is no man’s land because Lagos is not a no-man’s land. It is Yoruba land.
3. We state that a lot is at stake given the investment of our people in Lagos. Only a thoughtless tribe without minds of their own will toil with their destiny. Ndigbo will never toy with their destiny, their interests, their investment and their security in Lagos by going into any needless confrontation with the Yorubas who have been very accommodating, very hospitable and very cosmopolitan to Igbos in Lagos. While we thank the Yorubas for their understanding, we ask them to see those who want to instigate a fight between Yorubas and Igbos for their devious and selfish political interests, as not representing the Igbos as we urge Igbos to reciprocate this tolerance by voting for Sanwo-Olu and APC House of Assembly candidates this Saturday.
4. We want the Yorubas to Equally understand that In last week’s presidential election, our son Peter Obi was on the ballot and that this generally drew the sentimental support of many Igbos, who voted for him. The result has shown that while majority Igbos voted for their son, majority Nigerians voted for our President-Elect. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. While this is understandable, we urge the Yorubas not to see the voting pattern last Saturday as an act of hostility but of democratic choice. This Saturday, Nigerians will vote on the governorship, election and we see it as a great opportunity for Igbos in Lagos to show that we are not political enemies of the Yorubas by voting en mass for Gov. Sanwo-Olu as no Igboman is contesting for the governorship of Lagos. Igbo should show love to Yoruba by voting Gov Sanwo Olu
5. We note that our South East region is troubled and has become a hotbed of insecurity and not safe for Ndigbo for a long time now. In this period. Lagos has absorbed millions of Igbos and their businesses fleeing from the insecurity in the South East. Gov. Sanwo-Olu has been particularly accommodative and the Yorubas have been magnanimous in taking in these Igbos. The governorship election is a payback time and Igbos should be careful not to show themselves as hostile and aggressive guests to Yorubas as that will spell doom for millions of Igbos, living peacefully and safely in Lagos and doing their businesses without let or hindrance. Let us vote Sanwo-Olu because he represents the interests of all Lagosians.
6. We want to assure the Yorubas that Igbos are not greedy as to plot to take over Lagos as some miscreants and hoodlums intent on causing crisis, are saying. We want Yorubas to know that those provocative statements and boasts are not by true Igbos. That such expression of ingratitude are made to drive wedges between the harmonious understanding Igbos enjoy with Yorubas in Lagos for over a century now. We want to assure Yorubas that Igbos are very much committed to this beneficial relationship and would do nothing to harm it. We will use the next Saturday election to demonstrate our commitment to this understanding and further cement our relationship with the Yorubas by voting massively for Sanwo-Olu who we project to enjoy massive victory in the gubernatorial election this Saturday.
Concluding: We totally and unconditionally declare that Igbos in Lagos will come Saturday, vote for the re-election of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and APC state assembly candidates and we urge every Igbo man in Lagos to do so for our overall interest.
Thank you all for your time.
1. Peter Claver Oparah,
2. Kelvin Nwoha
3. Chima Ukwandu