Former Nigerian education minister calls out Lagos governor to show proof that the demolition of Igbo owned shops is not political
Former minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili, has called out the governor of Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu to provide proof that the demolition of “distressed buildings” at the popular Alaba market is not a political attack on the Igbo tribe.
“Mr Governor, please immediately publish details of each destroyed building and the dateline of Due Process rules that were exhausted by your Government before it was “removed,” Mrs Ezekwesili said. “It will be wise for the Governor to take this counsel on Transparency and Full Disclosure since it would provide evidence to the public that this is not a vengeful political attack against the predominant Igbo community in Alaba Market.”
Ezekwesili who is Igbo made the remarks in a tweet, Tuesday.
“Let me also use this opportunity to really again advise the @followlasg and its cheerleaders including @officialABAT to be careful in persisting to brew a terribly toxic atmosphere against fellow citizens since before, during and after the 2023 elections,” Ezekwesili said.
The Lagos State government had embarked on a statewide demolition of “distressed buildings” and the popular Alaba International Market, the largest electronics market in Nigeria was visited by officials of the government who marked the buildings owned by Igbos for demolition.
Lagos State Building Control Agency (LSBCA) general manager, Gbolahan Oki, said 17 buildings in the Ojo Local Government Area where the market is situated have been assessed and approved for demolition.
Igbo traders who own shops in the affected buildings say they were not given adequate notice before the demolition took place.
Lagos a vibrant and cosmopolitan state has been a melting pot of the over 300 tribes of Nigeria since the British made it a crown colony in 1861 and subsequently became a hub of commercial activities. An airport and seaport was built to support the British war effort during WWII. On independence it was made the capital of Nigeria.
Tribal tensions has been on the rise since the February 25 elections when the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi defeated Bola Tinubu the ruling party presidential candidate in his stronghold of Lagos.
Many in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) Lagos chapter saw the defeat of Tinubu a Yoruba by Obi who is Igbo as a planned takeover of the state.
Bayo Onanuga a spokesman for the Tinubu presidential campaign called for the outright expulsion of Igbos from the political life of Yorubas and in the run up to the gubernatorial elections in Lagos described the Igbos as an existential threat to the Yorubas.
The APC enforcer in the state Musiliu Akinsanya known popularly as MC Oluomo threatened Igbos and other non Yorubas who refused to vote for the APC in the gubernatorial election to stay at home.
Akowe with reports from Lagos