Threats On Lagos Igbo Natives: Intersociety Rejects Proxy Apologies & Gives IGP 48Hrs To Investigate Oba Akiolu Or Be Dragged To ICC
(Security & Voting Rights, Onitsha Nigeria, 8th April 2015)-Our organization has heard and studied the defensive and apologetic positions taken by the Lagos State Branch of the APC, Mr. Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Mr. Femi Falana, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Mr. Patrick Utomi and other supporters and apologists of APC in Lagos State over the death threats issued against the Lagos Igbo Natives by the stranger-Oba of Lagos, Retired AIG Rilwan Akiolu. We are also in the know of a statement credited to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman A. Abba at the NPF official function in Abuja on 7th April 2015 to the effect that “Police cannot investigate Oba Akiolu because he has denied making the (genocidal) statement and that since the traditional ruler has denied the allegation, I am not in any position to state otherwise”.
We wish to express shock and disbelieve over the foregoing. We dare say that the defensive and apologetic positions taken by the referenced over the issue are not unexpected. The most shocking of it all is the official statement credited to the Inspector General of Police. By this the IGP has aided and abetted, if it is true he made the statement as quoted. The NPF boss was said to have made the statement in Abuja during the IGP Conference with the State Commands' Commissioners of Police. We wish to state that the elementary law of criminal investigation does not provide for such hasty and armchair conclusions without even a preliminary investigation. It may interest the IGP to know that his seeming reliance on a watery and cooked up press statement from the palace of the stranger-Oba have dealt a fatal blow by the release of video and audio clips of the stranger-Oba's coerced meeting with the Lagos Igbo traditional representatives.
If it is true that the IGP made that statement; then he is unfit to be the IGP of plural and multi ethnic society like Nigeria. It also shows that he is the IGP of Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba ethnic nationalities and seen as an enemy of Igbo Nation and Southern and Northern ethno-religious minorities in Nigeria. Further grave implication of this is that IGP and his NPF is encouraging pogrom and genocide through toleration and condoning of hate and inciting speeches by malicious Nigerian citizens and groups.
The international implication of this is that the security agencies in Nigeria led by the NPF have clearly manifested unwillingness and inability to arrest, investigate and prosecute promoters of hate and genocidal speeches in the country; thereby warranting the immediate and express intervention of the International Criminal Court. We therefore give the IGP 48hours to clarify the statement credited to him as quoted and arrest and investigate the referenced Oba Rilwan Akiolu. Failure to do this as demanded will leave us with the option of dragging the stranger-Oba, the Government of Lagos State and its APC as well as the IGP to the International Criminal Court in Hague, The Netherlands.
As for the defensive and apologetic positions of the individuals and groups above mentioned, we never expected the contrary just like during the July 2013 Lagos Igbo Natives expulsion and deportation in the same State. The inability of the referenced individuals and groups to make categorical statements condemning the stranger-Oba's genocidal threats and calling for his dethronement, arrest and prosecution, is one of the tragedies that have befallen individual and group advocacy entities in contemporary times in Nigeria. The silence and inaction of the Government of Lagos State in the referenced widely condemned utterances also makes it an accomplice. The first action of a reasonable State Government over the referenced would have been to sanction the errant Oba through at least suspension from office.
Another typical example is the coordinated and collective silence of most of the rights organizations and activists in Lagos State over the issue. If the genocidal threats were made by a leading traditional ruler in the Southeast zone, by now heavens would have been let loose in the Southwest rights CSOs community. Some would have gone to the UN Headquarters in New York to picket and others would have opted for local and international court actions like ICC, press conferences in Abuja and Lagos, etc.
As for proxy apologies offered by Lagos APC and its owners, they are not only infantile, but also a cosmetic approach padded for the purpose of averting the loss of the 11th April gubernatorial poll in the State. From the body language of the referenced, the stranger-Oba of Lagos was not alone in his genocidal remarks. He only let out what has been collectively plotted and hatched. The truth is that those who are laying false claims to the ownership of Lagos State following local language assimilation, are the same groups and persons that plotted and hatched what the stranger-Oba let out by error. Their grave bitterness stems from the recent victory of some non-natives in the just held Federal Reps poll in the State where about three seats went to them. Their shock and surprises stemmed from the fact that despite plotted denial of over 2 million registered voters dominated by non natives of their PVCs; the referenced still got a number of seats and garnered much votes for the out-going President Goodluck Jonathan.
Our position; to the effect that the referenced proxy apologies are a smokescreen or cosmetic approach is further reinforced by the text below forwarded to us yesterday evening by a concerned citizen wishing not to be mentioned. The text has also been seen on the social network account walls of some Southwest citizens. It is being spread in Lagos State and environs using the Black Berry Smart Phones and similar devices. The hate text below is as follows:
"Vote Ambode for Governor! Jim Agbaje is giving igbos power to dominate us in our land. He has promised them 4 Local Government Chairmanship positions and 3 Cabinet posts in his cabinet if the Igbos in Lagos support him to win. Can you imagine 5 Igbos have won House of Rep(s) election in Lagos State (?). Jimi Agbaje says when he wins, an Eze Ndigbo will (be) crowned and given the same status as Oba of Lagos. YORUBA E RONU, WE DON'T WANT TO LOOSE (LOSE) LAGOS STATE TO THE IGBOS, THE WAY WE LOST Ilorin, remember The Afonja story. The igbos claim that Lagos is no man's land, let's prove them wrong by voting APC on Saturday. VOTE Akinwunmi Ambode"
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Barr Chiugo Onwuatuegwu, Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program