Oba Akiolu: why we applauded while he cursed: Igbo lawyer
A lawyer, Atueyi Chukwudi Felix, has said that the Igbo people who were at the palace of Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, laughed and clapped when he threatened and cursed Ndigbo if they did not vote for the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, because the Oba was only joking.
According to Felix, Oba Akiolu was only joking and speaking with them as friends, and that as friends we were always free with one another.
For him, the person who surreptitiously made the video and made it public just wanted to curry the favour of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The Lawyer, who dismissed the whole episode as a joke, even when the Oba in the video appeared very grave and made it clear he was not joking, said he felt it was expedient for him to speak up before things get out of hand.
He said, “I strongly suspect that all this is being portrayed in this manner simply to curry votes for the Saturday's coming election, which is already at hand.” He stated that the ongoing saga might compel some people, who had hitherto been indifferent to their civic duty, to go out of anger and vote against the Oba's advice, just to dare him. He said:
“What the Oba said was fully and simply directed to only the Igbos present at the meeting who His Majesty considered to be very close to him and should understand him well enough. When one talks to his very close friends, he tends to be very free with them.
“He was being very free with those present at the meeting and wanted us to realize how serious and close he takes us and our votes because he could not imagine us giving him our words only to turn back and do the very opposite.”
In a report by The Eagle Online, Felix stressed that Akiolu did not force them to the meeting. According to him: “We were the ones that went to him on solidarity visit, so it would be very evil of us to only go and deceive him there. He only jokingly warned the people present at the meeting who he considered his own people.”
A close attention to the video, which went viral, will discover that there is no specific point he referred to 'all the Igbos in Lagos,' the lawyer said. He said that it was because they were close friends to Akiolu and understood him quite well that those of them present at the occasion applauded and laughed at the end of his speech. “We were expected to thereafter talk to our people in civilized manner to convince them and canvass for their votes if we truly believe we are capable of doing so,” said Felix.
“The tradition of lagoon water threat was directed only to those present there at the meeting, jokingly as culture demands. Although he appeared serious, but we all understood it as a joke, that was why we all applauded him and made fun of it there.” Felix said that he was shocked at the twist the play took after the video went viral, stressing that he suspected serious politics at play. He said he wouldn't know who recorded the speech and decided to play politics with it, but “it's most unfair to his majesty to be portrayed in this manner.”
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