Ambode: How Oba of Lagos threatened Igbos in Lagos | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ambode: How Oba of Lagos threatened Igbos in Lagos

Posted: Apr 6, 2015 at 9:10 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Various organisations in the country have expressed outrage over the threat by Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, against Igbo if they fail to vote for the Lagos State All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, in Saturday’s election.

The monarch reportedly told Igbo leaders in Lagos on Saturday that he would “make life unbearable” for the Igbos in Lagos if they frustrate efforts to ensure that Am¬bode emerges as the next governor of the state.

Oba Akiolu was quoted as saying, “On Saturday, if anyone of you goes against Ambode, whom I picked, that is your end. If it does not happen within seven days, just know that I am a bastard and it is not my father who gave birth to me.

“By the grace of God, I am the owner of Lagos for the time being. On Saturday, if anyone of you, I swear in the name of God, goes against my wish that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos State, the person is going to die in¬side this water.”

Among those that have called out the monarch are the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria and the youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

While the CCFN asked Oba Akiolu to revert his “curse” on the Igbos, the Ohanaeze youths gave the monarch 48 hours to withdraw his threat and apologise for his outburst against the Igbos.

CCFN, an organ of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, in a statement by its Executive Secretary, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey, on Monday in Abuja said Akiolu was “missing the point that Nigeria is a Republic and a democracy and not a monarchy.”

He said, “We humbly call on the Oba himself to withdraw his curse and rather appeal to the people, for indeed, such a threat may amount to playing God and God, who is a merciful father, will not allow his children to die so senselessly just because they are fulfilling the dictates of their conscience.”

According to him, the fact that APC is the government at the centre is a strong factor to employ and appeal to people to vote for its candidate “rather than invoking ancestral powers for destruction.”

Bassey added, “Why is it that in Africa we usually invoke our powers for destruction and not for building-up? Why single out a particular ethnic group for this curse? Does it mean a Yoruba or Hausa person, living in Lagos. who votes for Jimi Agbaje will go scot-free, while any Igbo, who votes for Agbaje, will drown in the Lagoon?

“Does it mean that people should vote out of fear and not their consciences? Would such an election be free and fair, where people have to vote out of intimidation?

Does not the threat of the Oba Akiolu amount to voter intimidation?”

The Ohanaeze youth wing said it considered the comments credited to the monarch as “a despicable insult on the Igbo nation home and abroad, least expected of a royal father in the rank of Oba of Lagos.”

In a statement in Umuahia on Monday, the National President of Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said, “Igbo youths will not take this insult lightly, and unless he apologises within 48 hours, he should know he is courting our wrath.

“Nobody, no matter what he thinks he is, has the right to command Ndigbo anywhere on who to vote for in a democratic setting.”

He said the “unprintable comments”, credited to the Oba, had only revealed his innate hatred against “Ndigbo, whom God has destined to prosper in any part of the world even in hostile environments.”

He, called on security agencies to immediately invite the monarch for questioning over his remarks “which portend grave security implications.”