For demolishing the Oshodi market omostly occupied by Igbo traders when most of them were still celebrating the Yuletide in their villages, the Igbo apex socio-cultural organization, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has declared Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State as the number one enemy of Ndigbo.
National President of the Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, alongside the National Secretary, Okwu Nnabuike, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Enugu on Monday, said Ambode had drawn a battle line between himself and the entire Igbo land by the demolition.
While claiming that the act was done “in bad faith”, the OYC wondered why the Lagos State Government should carry out such act at a time when it clearly knew that the owners of the shops were in their villages for the Christmas and the New Year festivities.
According to Isiguzoro, “It is instructive to observe here that contrary to all principles of common justice, the traders were merely given few days quit notice. It is equally shocking that the government chose such a wrong time for the demolition exercise, thereby not only taking the shops from them but making sure that their wares were looted.”
“We are forced to ask: could this be the starting point in implementing Oba of Lagos’s earlier threat during the election period that Ndigbo would be thrown into the Lagoon? Could it be another round of deportation of exercise, similar to what former governor Fashola did? These appear to be so considering that a witch cried in the night and a child died in the morning.”
While maintaining that the Lagos State Government’s action was a threat to the unity of the country, the group demanded adequate compensation of traders who had suffered great losses as a result of the demolition, stressing that “it is quite inhuman for people’s means of livelihood to be taken away from them in such a manner.”
Isiguzoro further contended that the state government’s claim that arms were recovered from that section of the market is neither here nor there, “because it cannot be a reason for such a wicked treatment purely targeted on a particular people.”
“We demand that the Governor of Lagos State should direct relevant government agencies to adequately compensate these traders; anything short of that, Ndigbo will henceforth regard the Governor as their number one arch-enemy.”