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I do not have a problem with the Igbos - Gov. Fashola gives an unreserved apology to Igbos over deportation of Igbo destitutes from Lagos
| September 27, 2013
Speaking at the silver jubilee symposium of the Igbo socio-cultural think tank, Aka Ikenga, held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), offered an unreserved apology for the misunderstanding generated by the recent deportation of some Igbo destitutes to Onitsha, Anambra State In July, the Lagos state government was accused of removing 70 Igbo beggars from Lagos and dumping them at the Onitsha Bridge and this generated a huge outcry. The governor also insisted that differences on the issue should not be allowed to tarnish the bond and friendship that were built over time with the Ndigbo in the state. He also said that he has no problems with Igbo people and pointed out that the largest number of cattle he received when his father died was from the Igbo residents in Lagos. Addressing the audience, Governor Fashola said, “I came here to say to say thank you for the honour done to my family and the memory of my late father. “People who clearly do not understand the actions taken and words spoken are those I owe an explanation. I cannot take the Igbos for granted because we have built a relationship based on tolerance, mutual respect, love and trust. That relationship was built by our ancestors and I put a lot of value in that relationship. “I offer an unreserved apology if the actions taken had been misunderstood. “But I think the basic issue Aka Ikenga must address is why people feel compelled to immigrate from one part of the country to the other? Is it the case that some lack the resources to develop or perhaps some parts are endowed with enormous resources but not adequately managed? “How can development be so difficult from the zone that has produced people like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alex Ekwueme, Ike Nwachukwu, among others? “As political storm gathers, there are contact spots but like in football, contact spots have rules. Those who are victims of our shortcomings as professionals in and out of government should not be pounced. “A day like these calls for deep reflection about issues of our loyalties. Are we more Igbo than Nigeria or we are more Nigeria than Igbo?”

(1) Comment


"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
Mazi J. O. Obasi.    Ewing NJ, USA    September 29, 2013
Mr. Governor, The Igbo's have no problems with you neither, or with any group in the greater Nigerian definition so to speak. Your apology meritoriously is constrained. It should've been to Nigerians and not directed to the Igbos particularly. The negligence was of those individuals whose rights were specifically involved in the whole exercise.

If I am asked to say, I recommend the Lagos State Government write them letters regretting the blatant assault on their Constitutional gaurantees and that, in my judgement should have been enough.
Gov. Fashola, I don't think you realize your national political stature to be dragged into these belittling controversies. I happened to be in our dear country when you accosted a military man who violated a road detour at a construction site in Lagos and I said to myself, this man is remarkable. He is out there at the construction site. There were no sirens blaring and no columns of Security personnel adding to the traffic griddlock -- we have a winner; should he run for a national office, he has my vote.

Please, look around you. Select your aides carefully rigorously going forward unless your idea of transformation stops with Lagos. We are Nigerians first, tribes follow because we cannot burry our heads in the sand like Ostriches in that regard. Then the States of origin and eventually our persons if we want to be counted as patroits. Dissect issues before actions. That way your honest intentions must not be misconstrued by anarchists and well meaning citizens alike.

The argument of who owns Lagos in infantile. People from our African vilages have earned and owned property around the World. Do you think the domaining original people are fools to let them have such privilages? Not in your widest imagination! Modern issues in the world these days are like the proverbial African venemous snake in the night.

You have to approach attacking it with utmost care for you do not know whither direction the poisonous head is aimed. Property is property everywhere as far as the title is verifyable; you know that better than most people. You never know, these people that are being chastised and hounded accross the spectrum may be the citadels of survival the next time around. So, apologise to your countrymen and resume basking in their trust. JO.
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