Igbo leaders in Lagos State under the umbrella of Ohanaeze and Igbo Speaking Community are licking their wounds over their inability to secure a single appointment from the Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, after giving Ndigbo assurances during the electioneering campaign in the State.
Thus, the leadership of the groups comprising Chief Solomon Aguene, Chief Sunday Ossai, Sunday Udeh and Sunday Eze, have been subjected to objects of mockery by Ndigbo, who perceived them as betrayers.
Also the Igbo in the State are not sparing the likes of Chief Joe Igbokwe, Hon. Jude Idimogu, Chief Chris Ekwilo, Eze Christian Uchechukwu Nwachukwu, Eze Uche Dimgba, Chief Oliver Akubueze, Chief Solochuks, Eze Lawrence Nnamdi Eze, Eze Chris Offia, Chief Mrs. Vivian Obi, Chief Mrs. Nelly Okafor and many others, who staked their necks and asked Ndigbo to vote for the ruling Party in total support of the re-election of Governor Sanwo-Olu.
P.M.EXPRESS investigation revealed that after the election and the recent appointment by the Governor, no single Igbo person was appointed and those leaders could not offer any explanation why the Governor did not appoint any Igbo person into any position. Some of the aforementioned stakeholders have gone into hiding and hardly attend public functions.
Some other stakeholders who spoke to P.M.EXPRESS stated that the Igbo leaders deserved the disgrace being meted to them by Governor Sanwo-Olu because of the double game they played during the elections.
However, the mind of the majority of Ndigbo was captured by members of an Igbo group, under the aegis of Concerned Igbo Elites (CIE), who have cried out over the non-representation of Ndigbo in the government of Lagos State.
The group made their position known after examination, verification and scrutinization of the cabinet formation of the Government of Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
In a statement made available to the media on Thursday, November 16, 2023, the group decried what they called a misnomer calculated at marginalizing the Igbo in Lagos.
The group made it clear that Ndigbo in Lagos are not happy considering the cordial relationship existing between the Igbo and the Yoruba in Lagos especially since 1999, when the former Governor of Lagos State, now President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was in power.
The group maintained that such cordiality and peaceful coexistence between the two groups, which had been the hallmark of the host and her visitors which had been jealously guided, should not be thwarted for any reason.
The Coordinator of the group, Aji Ibe, said his group was surprised that no person of Igbo extraction was found in the current government of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu despite the struggle and efforts even at personal discomfort of some Igbo people in ensuring that the All Progressives Congress won Lagos and Nigeria at large.
Mr. Ibe therefore, called on the governor and the relevant stakeholders to halt what they call total marginalization of the Igbo in Lagos especially when viewed against the quantum of revenue, which the Igbo add to the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State.
“We are concerned and we are not happy. We have our illustrious sons and daughters in Lagos, especially somebody like Honourable Jude Idimogu, who has served the state in the Assembly for eight years as a lawmaker; we think that such a man should be compensated especially when you look at what he did for APC; he campaigned vigorously, organized press conferences, town hall meetings and explained the APC manifesto to his kinsmen, so he should be compensated. He should have been given something like appointment as a Commissioner or Senior Special Adviser, as it is not too much for him. What we are saying is that such a position can still be created for him and others like him.”
“Hon. Idimogu, through his brainchild network, Abundance Movement, was able to mobilse his constituents for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for Presidency and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the number one Governor in Nigeria. He also played key roles in so many other associations formed to mobilise support for Tinubu and Sanwo-Olu, such group as Igbokwenu for Asiwaju. Remember he also supported the election of Tinubu through Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other Igbo groups.”
“He is not the only one, there are many other Igbo people who worked for APC in this Lagos and across the nation. They should be appointed into Boards so as to give them a sense of belonging,” Ibe stated.
The Secretary of the Group, Mazi Cyriacus Nnaji, a media practitioner, also spoke in condemnation of the serial marginalization of the Igbo in the government of Lagos. He said that there is no problem between the Igbo and the Yoruba.
Nnaji recalled what happened on the day of the election, where a few individuals tried to cause trouble on both the side of the Igbo and the Yoruba due to differences in political opinions, but said such disagreements were subdued by the responsive interventions by people like Jude Idimogu.
“Our people are being marginalized, many see this as an oversight but this is a serious oversight and should be reversed. The Igbo race is not a negligible population. I can tell you authoritatively that the Igbo are second only to the Yorubas in the population of Lagos. And so, they should not be ignored. We are not taking Lagos from the Yoruba, God forbid that anybody should ever think along that line. What happened during the election was a misunderstanding between two friends, who were opposed politically but not our Igbo.”