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Group views Ohaneze’s claims on Lagos as an insult on Yoruba

A socio cultural group, Oodua Solidarity Forum, has condemned the Ohaneze claim  published on Tuesday August 6, 2013, in the Daily Sun as not only insult to the Yoruba, but also an affront just as it decry the attacks, threaths on Femi Fani-Kayode and  his failmy.

The group in a satement signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Olajide Julius and made available to Vanguard viewed the  Ohaneze claim  that  “The Igbo are key stakeholders in the affairs of the state (Lagos). We constitute over 46% of the population of the state…It is the Igbo that make Lagos what it is and without them Lagos will go to sleep. The Igbo in Lagos have the capacity to defend themselves…”. published on Tuesday August 6, 2013, in the Daily Sun as not only insult to the Yoruba, but also an affront.

The statement in parts read thus

We have watched the systemic and vitriolic attacks on former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, over his article, entitled ‘The bitter truth about the Igbo’ which unfortunately has been condemned by some groups of people.

And despite his explanations that his comments have been greatly been misunderstood, and that his intentions were not to ridicule or malign the Igbo, the attacks have continued. Some Igbo groups have not stopped at attacking him alone, but have gone ahead to issue threats against his wife and children.

While many may see the attack as merely an attack on Fani-kayode, but those with discerning eyes will read between the lines and see that the attack is indeed an attack on the Yoruba race.

You will recall that Fani-Kayode only responded to a national issue and comments made by some Igbos concerning the Yoruba race. It is funny how these people who have found it a game to attack Chief Fani-Kayode
remained silent without uttering a single word when an Igbo man and leader, former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, found it convenient to describe Lagos as ‘no man’s land’ and that 55% of the revenue generated in the state belong to the Igbos.

It should also be noted that Fani-Kayode made those comments as his personal opinion as a Nigerian. We ask, what was he expected to do when his father’s land is being disparaged by an Igbo man?

It is not only funny, but also ridiculous that Orji Kalu would refer to Lagos as a no man’s land. Perhaps he has forgotten so soon that shortly after the June 12 crisis broke out, and Lagos was on fire as a result of the activities of the military junta. No sooner had the crisis started that Kalu’s Igbo brothers packed their loads and headed back to their ‘homes’. It took the Yoruba, the ‘owners’ of Lagos to stand and fight to protect their land.

It is also instructive to remind them that the Yoruba account for between 20% and 30% of buildings and businesses in Abuja. But we had never for one day lose sight of the fact that Abuja belongs to the Gwari people, though it is the federal capital. The reason is very simple, the Yoruba is not in any way covetous, and so will never lay claim to whatever is not his.

There is no gain repeating the fact the average Yoruba is very accommodating. It is for this simple reason that you will find an Igbo, Hausa or even a non-Nigerian with properties spread across Yoruba land without any problem.

It is against this background that we view the comments credited to the Ohaneze in the Daily Sun publication of Tuesday August 6, 2013, as not only insult to the Yoruba, but also an affront. The comments reads: “The Igbo are key stakeholders in the affairs of the state (Lagos). We constitute over 46% of the population of the state…It is the Igbo that make Lagos what it is and without them Lagos will go to sleep. The Igbo in Lagos have the capacity
to defend themselves…”

You will agree with us that this reckless statement is a subtle claim by the Igbo that they own Lagos, with a veiled threat to destroy it if they don’t have their way. Despite the open threat, no Yoruba man has picked the gun to attack the Ohaneze.

Perhaps we should ask our brothers one simple question. How many Yoruba have C-of-Os in Enugu, Aba or Onitsha? It is not because they not want to have it or because they are not as industrious as their Igbo counterpart.

The truth is that the system there will never allow them to own such thing because they are viewed as ‘strangers’. Therefore, we would like to use this opportunity to warn them not to abuse our large hearts and accommodating spirit.

Only recently, some first-class monarchs from the East visited the Oba of Lagos, HRM Oba Rilwan Akiolu, to plead with him to discourage Igbos from crowning themselves as monarchs in a another man’s land.

Why would these wise people make such plea if indeed Lagos is a no man’s land as these people would want to make us believe?

We view these statements and actions by the Igbo as an affront on the office of Oba of Lagos, the Olu of Ikeja, the Oba of Epe, the Oba of Ikorodu,Akran of Badagry and indeed all other monarchs across the state of Lagos.

We have chosen to remain silent on these outbursts and threat of war by these Igbo groups before now, not because of fear or for having nothing to say, but because as Yoruba, we believe in watching events before making our judgment.

It will be apt to remind them of the memories of the civil war. It was their leader that took the entire nation to war when it challenged, according to its own proverb, its own chi to a wrestling contest. The Yoruba played the good Nigerian until they chose to carry their attack beyond the East and head for Lagos.

It is for these reasons that we urged every true born Yoruba man and woman not to see the attack on Fani-Kayode, but as another ploy by the Igbo to drag the nation into another senseless war, and through that lay claim to what does not belong to them.

It is time these people realized that they don’t have the monopoly of violence, and that our decision to remain silent is not an act of cowardice, but rather an act of maturity. The Yoruba must resolve that never again would we be used as canon folder to fight a war caused by greed and selfishness. We take serious exception to these attacks and threats against chief femi fani kayode or any member of his family, immediate or extended.

But we have observed that it has become the fad in recent times for other tribes in Nigeria to issue threats and make efforts to disparage the Yoruba at the slightest opportunity. And we make bold to say the latest one shall be the last time anybody in Nigeria, or anywhere in the world, will use the Yoruba race as a platform to launder their dirty linen.

Therefore, we hereby call on leaders of repute in Igbo land to call these groups to order before they cause more damage.

And let us state here that henceforth, while appreciate the age-long peaceful relationship that has existed between the Yoruba and Igbo people, which is largely noticeable in the number of marriages between the two people, we shall no longer tolerate any attack on Chief Fani-Kayode, and indeed any Yoruba man or woman.”



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