Following the uproar caused by the comments by the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, where he threatened Igbos resident in Lagos to vote for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Akinwunmi Ambode, the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the monarch.
The OYC advised the Oba to “retract and unconditionally apologise to Ndigbo” over his alleged death threat to Ndigbo living in Lagos should they fail to vote for the APC governorship candidate in the upcoming gubernatorial polls on the 11th of April 2015.
Apart from positing that democracy confers on the electorate, the freedom of choice, the group said it considered the comments credited to Akiolu as “a despicable insult on the Igbo nation, home and abroad, least expected of a royal father in the rank of Oba of Lagos.”
The OYC called on security agencies to invite the Oba for questioning because of the grave dangers his current posture portends.
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According to Naija 247 news, the National President of the group, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, warned that “Igbo youths will not take this insult lightly, and unless he apologises within 48 hours he should know he is courting our wrath.”
OYC further warned that should anything happen to Ndigbo or their business interests in Lagos in the event of APC losing the Lagos governorship race, the Oba should be held responsible.
“In as much as we do not want to get involved in Lagos politics, we want to sound a note of warning that no Igbo should be vilified or persecuted for his or her electoral choice in Lagos or any part of Nigeria,” the group said.
“Every Nigerian has the constitutional right to reside in any part of the country and participate in the electoral process based on one’s convictions, and electoral choice is not a crime,” it added.
Isiguzoro said “nobody no matter what he thinks he is, has the right to command Ndigbo anywhere on who to vote for in a democratic setting.”
He said that the unprintable comments credited to the Oba had only revealed his innate hatred for Ndigbo.
He said, “The Oba should be reminded that the economy of Lagos will collapse should Ndigbo decide to pull their investments from the commercial city.
“Ndigbo have remained the most persecuted , hated and marginalised tribe in Nigeria , yet the most enterprising and highest contributors to the growth of its economy, peace and unity.”
OYC asserted that the Igbo race needs commendation and not hatred for their ingenuity, versatility and presence in every part of the country, adding that God has destined Ndigbo to prosper in any part of the world, even in hostile environments.
The group, therefore, encouraged Ndigbo in Lagos and elsewhere to vote according to their conscience in the forthcoming polls without fear of intimidation.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has condemned the Oba's comments, the crisis in Ekiti and the death threats on one of its chieftains, Ifeanyi Uba.