by FRANCIS SUBERU

Leaders of the Igbo ethnic group in Lagos yesterday said they have forgiven Oba Rilwan Akiolu and moved on with their lives.

Oba Akiolu had made a controversial statement against the ethnic group over their perceived support for the opposition in the state.

The Igbo leaders, after a meeting with traditional rulers in Amuwo Odofin, said they have also unanimously endorsed the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.

Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of Ndi Eze, Lagos, Eze Dr. Gordian Dim, refuted the hatred comments being circulated in the social media with regards to the Oba’s comment, saying it was meant to cause disaffection between the Igbo and the monarch. He said, “What transpired at the Oba’s palace was not what was painted by some media organisations. I engineered the whole process, and I can say confidently to you that the Oba’s statement was misconstrued and should be discarded.

“His statement was a joke and we all laughed over it, we even promised him a wife.”

He noted that the needed transformation from the centre of excellence would be achieved if the ambition of Ambode was supported.

The Igbo leaders said that Lagos State has been their home and they will always support the progressives as enshrined in the APC.

He enjoined all Igbo to come out en mass and vote for Mr. Ambode on Saturday.

Responding, Onilado of Ilado and Inagbe Island, Oba Mobadenle Oyekan, thanked the Igbo for the visit and assured them that Lagos State was home to all and the government would never deny any citizen his or her right, or against discriminate anybody irrespective of religion or ethnic background.

Oyekan restrated the good relationship with the Igbo since the creation of Lagos State and appealed to them to continue with it in order for more synergy and development to continue in the state.

Meanwhile, Governor Babatunde Fashola has urged the electorate in the state to vote for their well being, security, prosperity and protection of their future.

The governor, who said this yesterday, noted that in casting their votes on Saturday, Lagosians should know that they are voting for the future of their children.

He said: “You will be choosing candidates and a party that you will entrust your lives to. Think hard, think clearly, think deeply. Ask yourselves a few questions.

“Who has shown a better record and example of protecting and securing you between the political parties?

“Which of the parties cares more when disasters happen? What is the record of the parties as it relates to the promises they have made to you in the past? Which of the parties do you see regularly and which one do you see once in a while?

“Which of the parties do you see when your life or property is threatened by epidemics like Ebola or by unfortunate accidents like plane crashes? Which of the parties is showing that you can become home-owners without knowing anybody?

“Which party has responsibility for providing electricity for you, and which one is taking up the responsibility to light up your streets and communities at night? Which of them cares more about your children and their safety?

“Indeed ask yourself, which of the parties threatened you with thugs on that sad Monday of March 16 and which is seeking to protect you by supporting the police with patrol vehicles, fuel and other equipment?”

According to him, the choice of who to vote for will be easy for the electorate if they can provide answers to the questions raised above.

He added: “Indeed, you have clear choices to make between parties that use your resources to develop your society and community on the one hand, and the party that chooses to bring money to you for distribution when election beckons.

“So, you can choose between schools for your children, hospitals for your community, roads for your transportation or in the alternative, you can choose to have these services monetised once in four years.”

Fashola lamented that out of 5.8 million registered voters and 3.8 million PVC collections, only about 1.5 million turned out to vote on the 28th March, 2015.

“Think of all the pain, the effort, the sleepless nights it took to get the PVCs to you. Think of the best way to show that the effort was not wasted or in vain. It seems to me that the best way is to have all these 3.8 million voters come out to vote.

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