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Ohanaeze Berates Bode George’s Criticism Of Igbo Development In Lagos

Daud Olatunji

In response to Chief Bode George’s recent comments regarding the focus of Igbo people on developing their own states instead of Lagos, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, issued a statement on Monday, criticizing George’s remarks as “unstatesmanly and bigoted.”

Chief Bode George, a former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), expressed concern over the attention given to issues related to Lagos ownership amid the challenges facing the country.

Ohanaeze, through its National Publicity Secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, countered George’s assertions, emphasizing that the Igbo community in Lagos has lawfully acquired properties, supported by valid certificates of occupancy.

 The organization defended the Igbo leader’s statement that these properties were obtained through legal means and reflected the spirit of corporate social responsibility.

The statement reiterated President General Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu’s viewpoint that Lagos, like Abuja when it served as the capital, attracted diverse groups, fostering multi-ethnic inflow, population growth, and economic activities.

Ohanaeze condemned the recent demolitions of properties in Lagos, particularly those owned by the Igbo community, and expressed disappointment in George’s selective silence on other issues affecting the region, such as the destruction of parts of Alaba International Market and voter intimidation in Lagos.

The organization questioned George’s support for the policies and programs of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration, labeling it as both curious and misdirected. 

The statement argued against George’s suggestion that Igbo contributions to Lagos’ development were misplaced, emphasizing the Igbo community’s broad-mindedness, hard work, law-abiding nature, forward-looking approach, and courage in the face of challenges.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo asserted that ignoring George’s comments might give credence to what it referred to as a “whimsical figment of a transactional imagination” and urged for a more constructive and inclusive discourse on issues affecting different ethnic groups in Nigeria.

 

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