By Alex Enebeli
The Apex Igbo Socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has urged Federal Government to intervene into what it described as “ethnic profiling of the Igbo in Lagos State” since 2023 election began.
The group also wanted the Federal Government to look into attendant hardship which Igbo people had been subjected to with a view to averting the impending tragedy.
This is contained in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Dr Alex Ogbonnia in Enugu on Monday, titled “What have Igbos done”.
According to him, there is need to end atrocities against the Igbos in Lagos State before it degenerates into other untold consequences.
“We, therefore, call on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director of DSS, the Governor of Lagos State, as well as Bola Tinubu and others to wade into this ethnic profiling of the Igbo in Lagos.
“Ohanaeze wants to let the world know that Ndigbo have paid the ultimate prize for the unity of Nigeria,” he said.
Ogbonnia added that in spite of the harrowing experiences the Southeast endured during the civil war, the Igbos had embraced Nigeria with great enthusiasm, open-mindedness, hospitality, entrepreneurship, creativity and patriotism.
“The question on every lip is what have the Igbo done?,” He asked.
Ohanaeze wondered why in every election, Igbos in Lagos would be a target of attack by both the traditional institutions and government agencies while the “federal government would complicitly watch and sanctimoniously preach that the unity of Nigeria is indivisible and indissoluble.
“It is once more pointed out that Lagos was the capital of Nigeria at the Nigerian Independence in 1960; just like Abuja is today the capital of Nigeria.
“It is of course highly inconceivable for a particular ethnic group to be excluded from the social, economic and political activities in the federal capital territory of any country or in any part of the country for that matter.
“Instead of commendations and plaudits for the invaluable contributions of the Igbo in Lagos State, some miscreants have taken barbarism to the extreme by killing and maiming the Igbo because they came out to vote in a democratic election,”.
According to him, Ohanaeze Ndigbo do not want to view the Yoruba ethnic through the narrow lens orchestrated by the illegits, miscreants, hoodlums and the jaundiced half Yoruba who had met culture and civilization half way.
“This is because, Ohanaeze cannot forget the likes of Dr Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the Afenifere and indeed all those eminent Yoruba that stood on the side of justice, equity and history by supporting Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party for the presidency of Nigeria in 2023.
“Neither are we unaware of the numerous Igbo sons and daughters whose spouses are from the Yoruba ethnic group,” he noted.
The group pointed out that all the highly placed persons, such as Bayo Onanugas who had championed threats, maiming and killings of the Igbo in Lagos had never been brought to book as a deterrent to other unrepentant ethnic chauvinists.
He described Ndigbo as “essentially republican and cosmopolitan in nature” with a very open society that admitted competence far and above ethnic sentiments.
“In the First Republic, a Fulani man was elected the Mayor of Enugu.
“In last Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections, a Yoruba man, Chinasa Abiola was elected as a member of Abia State House of Assembly to represent Umuahia South State Constituency,” Ogbonnia added. (NAN)