Oba of Lagos denies threatening Ndigbo
OBA of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, yesterday denied ever threatening Ndigbo in Lagos ahead of the gubernatorial election holding this Saturday.
Akiolu, in a statement yesterday, said the threats in questions were directed at those working against his throne and neither at Igbo nor to cajole any ethnic group to vote for his candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The palace, in a clarification signed by Opeluwa of Lagos, Lateef Aderibigbe Ajose, said the Lagos monarch had no grouse with non-indigenes in the state and he remains father of all Lagos residents.
Recounting what transpired and led to the alleged threats, Ajose explained that all honorary Eze Ndigbos in Lagos paid a courtesy call to Oba Akiolu last Sunday.
And at the meeting, the visitors praised the Oba for his fatherly support for and cooperation with Igbo in Lagos and they assured him of their continued good neighborliness with other tribes in Lagos and support everything that’ll further strengthen that harmony.
Oba Akiolu, on his part, acknowledged the enviable performance of Governor Babatunde Fashola and his contributions to the growth of investments in Lagos.
Akiolu gave the assurance that he is not disturbed or angry at Southeast and South- South votes for President Jonathan as perceived by the Eze Ndigbos. The Oba thereafter called on the Igbo chiefs to show appreciation to Lagos State by supporting Ambode for continuity of excellence as they have earlier promised.
“Akiolu assured them of his continued support and assistance where needed and the meeting ended with the traditional breaking of kola, alligator pepper, and bitter kola and pouring of libation on the ground.
“It was within this context that that the tradition of Lagos with regard to the lagoon came up. It was noted that whoever works against the throne and the interest and peaceful co-existence of Lagos would end up in the lagoon as per tradition.
“Oba Akiolu stated further that the Igbo people have not betrayed the throne. Lagos has also not betrayed the Igbo people. Lagos has done so much to make the Igbo comfortable and to prosper. For this, we expect reciprocal respect and understanding. The Oba of Lagos prays that the Lagoon and the throne will continue to bless and protect all those who reside and visit Lagos.
“Oba Akiolu is the father of all irrespective of tribe, religion or political persuasion. In Lagos, we have an old traditional proverb that relates to the Lagoon. The Lagoon is unique to Lagos. The proverb stresses the need for unity and understanding when you do business in an environment and in this case when you live and do business in Lagos. Oba Akiolu prays for peace for the land of Lagos and prosperity for all its inhabitants,” the statement further read.