Apex Igbo Socio-Cultural Organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has declared that the Igbo community has no issues whatsoever with its Yoruba hosts, in Lagos State.
President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the State, Chief Solomon Aguene, dismissed reports of tension between the two ethnic groups, describing them as handiworks of mischief-makers.
Speaking to Reporters, on Wednesday, in Lagos, Aguene said that the Igbo community remains grateful to its Yoruba hosts, and will do nothing to alter the mutually beneficial relationship between the two.
He said that insinuations of a deep-seated acrimony and suspicion between the Igbos and Yorubas, on the account of political affinities, were untrue.
According to him: “The Igbos in Lagos are active contributors to the thriving Lagos economy, through their individual and collective enterprise and industry, helping to open up new economic and investment corridors in Lagos State.
“The Yorubas on the other hand have warmly welcomed and received the Igbos, offering access to choice political and economic opportunities.
“To cement this very cordial relationship between the Igbos and the Yorubas, sons and daughters of Igboland over the years have been appointed, or elected to enviable positions of leadership here in Lagos.”
He noted that though there were pockets of skirmishes during last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections in some parts of the State, especially in Okota, they had nothing to do with the cordial relationship the Igbos have enjoyed over the years from their Yoruba host communities.
He advised Ndigbo residents in Lagos and their host communities, not to allow some mischievous elements destroy the long standing friendship between them.
Aguene disclosed that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, being the umbrella body of Ndigbo, has met with constituted authorities in the State, and has received the assurance that no such crisis exists.
“We therefore, call on all citizens to remain law abiding, and respecting constituted authorities, we urge them to go about their normal businesses, while we iron out all the grey areas, including the immediate and remote causes of the alleged breach of public peace, and possible solutions to prevent re-occurrence”, he stressed.
He also called on all political actors and government authorities in the State, to begin to take steps to address noticeable gaps and trust deficits, leading to regular ethnic disharmony in Lagos.
“We call on the Lagos State Government, the National Orientation Agency, the political actors, and other critical stakeholders, to do more in terms of orientation, to help douse inter-ethnic rivalry, jealousy, and mistrust”, he added.