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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Yoruba Group Flays Reactions To Fani-Kayode's Defence Of Lagos Ownership

A pro-Yoruba group, Odua Solidarity Forum, has moved in to douse the tension generated following the relocation of some Igbo 'destitutes' by the Lagos State Government to Anambra State, especially the reaction by the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode on the issue.

In a statement by the group, signed by its National Coordinator, Mr. Olajide Julius, it said the disparaging comments from the Igbo on Mr. Fani-Kayode's remarks should be discouraged.

Recently, the Lagos State Government had relocated some Igbo 'destitute' to Anambra State, which had precipitated unsavoury reactions from the Igbo community as well as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The PDP described the action as a violation of citizens' constitutional rights to live in any part of the country.

While defending the Lagos State Government over its action, Fani-Kayode in one of his articles, had said the state is not a 'no man's land' as been canvassed by a prominent Igbo commentator in one of his comments.

The group said as a result of the former aviation minister's stance on the issue, there have been threats to him and his family and by extension to the Yoruba ethnic group.

"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," the statement said, adding that despite the former minister's explanation that he had been quoted out of context, the attacks and threats have not shown any sign of abating.

"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, those with discerning eyes will read between the lines and see that the attack is indeed an attack on the Yoruba race," it said.

It called on prominent Igbo leaders to wade into the fray and bring a lasting solution to the misunderstanding as the various threats on the part of the Igbo commentators could harm the peaceful coexistence between the two tribes.

Its statement which asserts that reckless statements from various quarters among the Igbo groups have continued to pass insults on the Yoruba ethnic, cautioned that it is potent enough to trigger another civil war if not curtailed.

According to the group, "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 an insult to the Yoruba, but also an affront."

"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."


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