Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has warned his counterpart in Anambra State, Peter Obi, not to incite the Igbos against Lagos following the recent deportation of some Igbo destitute to Onitsha.
Fashola spoke with newsmen on Thursday after inspecting the ongoing light rail project and jetties in Mile 2 area of the state in southwest Nigeria.
The governor accused Obi of playing politics with the matter and using the media to blow the issue out of proportion, saying that the governor had not deemed it fit to call him on the issue, only for him to make it a media issue.
“There is too much at stake for anyone to begin to incite the Igbo community against their host state. There is too much at stake here. It is a very dangerous and unwarranted precedent.
And I hope that common sense will prevail here. Also, those who are praying for blood should know that there is too much at risk here. When I get a formal complaint from the government of Anambra State or notification from the Presidency, I will lay the facts bare.
It is unfortunate that my colleague governor has made this a media issue. As I speak, I haven’t received any telephone call or letter from him to complain and I don’t think that is the way government works. On less important matters like this, he had called me before,” he stated.
According to Fashola “this is a political season and Anambra will be up for contest and in a political season, unusual things happen and perhaps we are living in interesting times. And some of the evidence was when one sees two adults kissing on television, it tells you that some things are afoot.”
He added that it was regrettable to see issues of governance being tried on the pages of newspapers, with all sorts of columnists writing on it.
On Obi reporting him to the presidency on the issue, the governor said he was not aware if there was any place in the constitution that gave the president the power to adjudicate on disputes between states.
“Yes, I know that the president has a moral authority because he is the head of the sovereign state of the country. But I am not aware that the constitution states that the dispute between states should be settled by the Presidency.
If Anambra State has an issue on this matter, and they feel aggrieved, they should call or write to us. I feel that the final arbiter should be the court. And it is really important to say that our hospitality in Lagos State is legendary. And it is a global legend that the people of Lagos State are hospitable people and so is the present government of the state and previous administrations,” he said.
Fashola stated that there was a large Igbo community in the state and that their presence was evident in Alaba with the Alaba International Market and the ASPAMDA market, saying that they were doing their business peacefully while the state government was working tirelessly to provide the required transport system that would help improve the travel time and their businesses.