Alleged Marginalisation: Seek Dialogue And Understanding, Lagos APC Tells Ndigbo
The Lagos chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has advised Ndigbo in Lagos to be cautious, tactful and honest in dealing with their host communities anywhere in Nigeria in the interest of peace and harmony.
In a statement signed by the Lagos State APC Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, in Nnewi, Anambra State, the party said it is reacting to the claims by Ndigbo Cultural Society of Nigeria led by Chief Udo Udeogaranya that Ndigbo in Lagos are being marginalised in the politics of Lagos State.
Igbokwe said contrary to the claims of Ndigbo Cultural Society of Nigeria (NCSN), Ndigbo are getting their fair share in Lagos State as Igbo can be found everywhere in Lagos.
According to Igbokwe, “Ndigbo controls commerce in Lagos from Ladipo market to Tejuosho, from Oshodi to Alaba International, from the Trade Fair Complex to Odunade market, from Idumota to Balogun just to mention a few.
“Ndigbo are in real estate, big time, they are in hospitality business, transport and building construction. Ndigbo import more than 60 percent of all goods in Lagos on a conservative estimate.
“In politics, Igbos are also being represented at all levels of government from the wards to the local government and at the state level.
“Ben Akabueze has been the Commissioner for Budget and Planning for nearly 10 years and the weight of that office is well known to those who should know better. Joe Igbokwe sits as the General Manger LASIMRA, Head UFRU and APC Publicity Secretary Lagos and these are strategic offices and six Igbos are fully employed at LASIMRA.
“Justice Sybil Nwaka, an Igbo ,is in the Lagos judiciary, there was the late Mrs. Ngozi Mofuanya, a Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), there are also Igbo lawyers who are thoroughly enjoying themselves in the Ministry of Justice in Lagos. There is also countless number of Ndigbo in top positions in the Lagos State Ministries, especially in the Ministry of Education. Many Igbos are also working in the Local Governments across the metropolis.
“Ngozi Nwosu from Imo State got a life line of N6 million for an overseas surgery. Mrs. Mary Igbokwe got N5 million and a flat as compensation for her late husband who died in a scuffle with LASTMA officers in Lagos.
Mrs Chima Ubani got cash and a flat at Marwa Garden Lagos when her husband Mr. Chima Ubani died in a motor accident near Abuja. First Consultants Hospital owned by an Igbo got N50 million as compensation for equipment destroyed after fighting Ebola in that hospital and consequently stopped spread of the deadly disease.
“Time and space will not permit us to say all we know about Ndigbo in Lagos. Igbos have made great fortunes in Lagos simply because a very conducive atmosphere has been provided for these huge and monumental investments to thrive and we expect Ndigbo to show some understanding.”
The Lagos APC therefore appealed to Ndigbo in Lagos to work with their host communities in Lagos for peaceful co-existence and harmonious relationship.
According to Igbokwe, “Our property in Lagos were not said to be abandoned after the civil war. They were returned to us by the Yoruba after the war.
“Yoruba has been fair to Ndigbo and they need to reciprocate by seeking dialogue anytime there is problem instead of wars on the print and electronic media.
“Eighty percent of rich Ndigbo in Nigeria today made their wealth in Lagos. Lagos APC still insists that there are rooms for improvement and we advise Ndigbo to always seek audience with the authorities in their host communities for better understanding and cordial relationship. It is supposed to be a symbiotic relationship.”