A political group, South East/Igbo APC Progressives Roundtable (SIAPRO) has appealed to the Yoruba and compatriots in Lagos State to overlook any provocation, disrespect, and or insult that they may have endured flowing from the last election cycle in the state.
The group’s convener, Dr. Uche Diala made this appeal while addressing a press conference yesterday, March 29, 2023, in Abuja.
He said; “Lagos State is no less Yoruba land as Anambra State is Igbo land just like Lagos is not a no man’s land, just like Ebonyi State is not a no man’s land.”
Adding that any contrary view to these is as irresponsible as it is provocative, adding that these are facts that must be stated clearly.
Diala said Igbo have been known for ages to be noble guests who do nothing but add value to their hosts in a symbiotic relationship, adding that Igbos have never been known to be a burden to their hosts.
He explained that was the reason why regions, states, villages, hamlets, and families across the length and breadth of Nigeria (South, North, and West) are filled with noble, peace-loving, and hardworking Igbos, a multitude who have fully settled in and have no plan of leaving.
Diala said nowhere else in Nigeria is that bond of friendship, deep integration, and all round success more pronounced and enduring than in Lagos State.
“It is therefore heartbreaking what happened in Lagos recently where largely misguided Igbos with little or altered sense of history embarked on a fight that was needless, tactless, and profitless.
“An Igbo proverb says ‘obiara be onye abiagbula ya’ – a visitor should not be a burden or source of misfortune to his host. Unfortunately, some of our brother Igbo Lagosians allowed external negative influences to drive them to almost remove the seats from their own buttocks,” he said.
As progressive democrats, he said the group believes that every Nigerian has a right to aspire to any political office that he or she is qualified for and to vote and be voted for wherever one resides and pays taxes and will not support any action to deprive anyone of such rights but the place of ‘ako na uche’ (tact and wisdom) must always be preserved.
“In view of all the above, with every sense of sincerity, and responsibility, we hereby publicly appeal to and urge our Yoruba brethren and compatriots in Lagos to overlook any provocations, disrespect, and or insults that they may have endured flowing from the last election cycle.
“Friendship is a burden that weighs both ways. The mutually beneficial and long-term relationship between Igbos and Yorubas in Lagos is cemented in intertribal marriages, long-term, intricate, and rewarding business relationships, and decades of successful political collaboration cannot be jettisoned because of some individuals who have no or poor sense of history,” he said.
He noted that the group is aware of some recent unhealthy and unproductive utterances by some individuals of significant standing in Igbo society.
“It is trite Igbo wisdom that age and status compel a certain level of responsibility and restraint in words and conduct.
“We condemn such comments that seek to deepen the divide and create unnecessary tension and bad blood and responsibly urge such individuals to desist forthwith in the interest of peaceful co-existence and national unity,” he added.
He lamented the gradual and shocking decline and recession of the Igbo nation and the southeast geopolitical zone since the 2015 general elections that saw the electoral loss of President Goodluck Jonathan and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“This is due to a combination of factors, including wrong political calculations, deception, lies, and fake news and propaganda amongst others. The consequence of this is a gradual and continued isolation of the southeast and Igbos in the politics of Nigeria,” he said.