A coalition, under the protection of Anya Ndigbo, has assertively stated that Igbo individuals in Lagos State are not present in the region for conflict or combat, affirming that instead, they are in Lagos to procure a livelihood and to add to the growth of the area where they are earning a living.
According to the Nigerian Tribune, the head of the Board of Trustees of the association, Dr. Uma Eleazu, announced this statement on Tuesday while leading his constituents to the Ikoyi office of Chief Olabode George, former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP.
He expressed regret that Igbo individuals in Lagos are currently residing in a state of anxiety, a consequence of the previous nationwide general elections.
Eleazu, who spearheaded other members, including Engnr. Elvira Sallerias, Ben Aka, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, and Chief Amaechi Ebeledike criticized the ethnic stereotyping that characterized the last polling exercise in the state, portraying the words used as alarming, which he stated instilled "apprehension in the populace."
At the same time, the veteran statesman, who is set to turn 94 years old next month, dismissed as misinformation what some individuals were propagating, "that Igbo and Yoruba are going to fight for Lagos."
He stated that the latest rumor being spread that Igbo traders intended to shut down their businesses for a fortnight was false news." There is a trend we observed during the last election; it turned out to be a high-stakes situation." If you analyze the content of the just-concluded elections, the language used was alarming.
"These are expressions that evoke fear in people's minds. In the previous election, it went further. In an effort to deter people from voting, we saw a particular ethnic group singled out and maligned with derogatory terms. This had no political basis and only served to create fear to discredit and discourage individuals from participating in the election.
"As a result, our community believed it was necessary to confer with leaders such as yourself because we have heard rumors that Igbo and Yoruba people are preparing to battle for Lagos. This is misinformation, and it causes anxiety among people.
They are questioning if Igbo individuals are secure because we have been residing here for many years," he explained. "Therefore, our visit to you is to affirm that the Igbo community is not in Lagos to engage in warfare or conflict." We are present in Lagos to earn a livelihood and to aid in the progress of the location where we are conducting our businesses.
"As a leader, we are expressing our sentiments to you because a significant number of our people are now apprehensive. Some anonymous individuals are inciting violence against Igbo individuals. The most recent one is the assertion that Igbo traders intend to shut down their markets for two weeks. This claim is false," he appended.
As such, Eleazu implored Chief George, who also holds the position of Atona Oodua of Yoruba land, to assist in disseminating the message that the Igbo population is not in conflict with the Yoruba population in Lagos State.
He emphasized that they are present in the state to conduct their businesses and "do not desire to be harassed." Furthermore, he urged the quelling of tension and peaceful coexistence among all parties involved.
"Kindly help us in propagating the message that Igbo individuals are not in opposition with Yoruba individuals in Lagos State."
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