The Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, was reported Sunday night to have said Igbos resident in Lagos should cast their votes for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Akinwunmi Ambode, or risk perishing inside the lagoon.
Mr. Akiolu reportedly made the comment during a courtesy visit to him by Eze Ndigbos (Igbo traditional rulers) in all the local governments in Lagos.
The comments, reported here in details, have sparked outrage across the country, with individuals and at least one organisation accusing the monarch of threatening and intimidating the Igbo residents for holding contrary political views from his.
As anger raged across the country, the Oba’s palace released a statement indicating the monarch meant well for Igbos residents in his domain.
“Oba Akiolu … acknowledged the enviable performance of Governor Fashola and his contribution to the growth of investments in Lagos,” a chief in the palace, Lateef Aderibigbe Ajose, the Opeluwa of Lagos, quoted the monarch as telling his Igbo guests.
Mr. Ajose added, “He (Oba Akiolu) gave the assurance that he is not disturbed or angry with South-East and South- South votes for President Jonathan as perceived by the Eze Ndigbos. The Obas thereafter called on the Igbos chiefs to show appreciation to Lagos State by supporting his candidate Mr. Ambode for continuity of excellence as they have earlier promised.
“He assured them of his continued support and assistance where needed and the meeting ended with the traditional breaking of kolas, alligator pepper, and bitter kola and pouring of libation on the ground. It was within this context that that the tradition of Lagos with regard to the lagoon came up. It was noted that whoever works against the throne and the interest and peaceful co-existence of Lagos would end up in the lagoon as per tradition.”
PREMIUM TIMES has however now obtained a recording of the event. You can now listen to what the Oba really said.