Igbo Voters, Lagos State of Residents And Democracy
Nigeria News takes a look at the impact the Igbos have on Lagos election.
The Igbo ethnic nation is having a good time in Lagos, a Yoruba state. Like the northerners who have since made Lagos their permanent home, many easterners are Lagos residents.
They thrive in commerce and trade. They have evolved over time, acquiring landed property for both residential and business purposes from their Yoruba landlords.
The Igbos in Lagos now have their own traditional leader, whom they refer to as Eze Ndigbo. They take instructions from their leaders and the Yoruba Traditional monarchs.
Today, the Igbos have grown beyond being tenants in Lagos, they now sell lands and make laws to protect what belongs to them and their properties.
They had it better before the civil war between 1967 and 1970. Before this time, the Igbo political authority was dominant in Lagos when the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was the leader of NCNC.
As a matter of fact, the late Azikiwe succeeded the first Yoruba political figure, Herbert
And since the Action Group, the political party formed by seven Yorubas and led by Awolowo took over the political landscape of the southwest like whirlwind and couple with the 1966 coup and subsequent civil war, Igbos were restricted to the east.
But history showed that the Yorubas did not touch the Igbo properties in the southwest,
The Igbo began to live as tenants again in Lagos but due to their sense of commerce, they soon got back their footings as they now dominate such areas like Alaba, Festac in Amuwo Odofin area of the state.
Many of them also work and live in Oshodi/Isolo areas of Lagos. Igbos are many in Southwest doing legitimate jobs.
And they succeed because the Yorubas are also accommodating. Four years ago, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won four seats to the Lagos State House of Assembly. Three of the lawmakers are Igbos from Ajeromi Ifelodun and Amuwo Odofin constituencies.
They make laws. Invariably the Igbos are parts of policymakers in the Lagos. The former Commissioner for Budget in Lagos is an Igbo, Mr Ben Akabueze while the present and the longest serving Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos is an Igbo, Mr Joe Igbokwe.
So, thinking that Igbo will be a pushover in the present political era in Lagos is like day dreaming. This ethnic group perfects its strategy everyday in Lagos. They were out on Saturday to give PDP their bloc votes.
In Okota, Amuwo Odofin, Ajeromi Ifelodun, the Igbos have turned these areas to their home. There is nothing like state of origin. They are settled with the state of residence, even though this is not existing in the constitution of the Federal Republic.
They defied the threat by the traditional monarch of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu who warned them not to vote PDP. They refused to listen to the former State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who appealed to them to vote for APC. The Igbos are independent in Lagos except when there is need for them to pass through the government.
They are resolute and may deliver Lagos to PDP. Watch out.