The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has poured cold water on an alleged plot by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to launch an attack on Lagos.
The frontline Igbo socio-cultural group gave the assurance in a meeting with Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday.
President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof. George Obiozor made the call during a courtesy visit to Gov. Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina. The town hall meeting was attended by the governor as well as other principal officials in Lagos State.
Obiozor said that the threat was a ploy to distract the state governor and his administration from providing good governance for all residents. He said that the dangerous rumour or statement was aimed to cause division, crises and conflict among the people.
Further, the Ohanaeze helmsman disclosed that Ndigbo could not indulge in any act that would harm the harmonious peace; or the cordial relationship between Igbo and Yoruba, especially in Lagos, a second home of several Ndigbo. He added that the Igbo nation was renowned for being agents of development and not destruction.
‘‘Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in the company of Igbo Elders and Leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live.
‘‘The constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumour, gossips and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos; or any part of Yoruba land contemplate to instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land is not true. We wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumour or statement is emanating from is aimed to cause division; crises and conflict amongst us.
‘‘The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the South West was a source of relief,” Obiozor said.
In addition, the leader of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation also commended Sanwo-Olu for the exemplary leadership he exhibited at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged Nigeria, especially in Lagos State. According to him, the governor deserves commendation for controlling and restricting the spread of coronavirus with his quick response.
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Obiozor also reiterated Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s total support for Lagos State Government; as well as the efforts of the security agencies to keep everyone safe in the state and throughout the country.
‘‘I am aware that the government and good people of Lagos State under your able leadership; through their hospitable gestures, have continually kept the trust and friendship between Ndigbo and our host communities in Lagos State alive. Ohanaeze Ndigbo through this medium reiterates total support to the state government; as well as the security agencies in their patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in Lagos and throughout the country.
‘‘The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders and their contributions to the development of Lagos State are evident and exemplary,” he said.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, had stated that there were plans by some groups; which include IPOB to attack ‘soft spots’ in the state. He made this known during a Security Town Hall Meeting at the Lagos State secretariat.