The All Progressives Congress Lagos has asked the Igbo community in Lagos to ignore and forget the unfortunate statement credited to the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, when he addressed some Igbo chiefs in Lagos over the weekend.
In a statement signed by Joe Igbokwe, the state spokesperson of the party, the APC apologized and appealed to Ndigbo to allow peace reign, considering the longstanding relationship that has existed between Igbo and Yoruba since the inception of Nigeria.
“No human being is above mistakes,” Mr. Igbokwe said. “People can make mistakes and correct it thereafter. The Oba of Lagos can make a mistake and we believe that the statement credited to him was a mistake. If to err is human, we plead with Ndigbo to let the sleeping dog lie.
“After the March 28 2015 Presidential elections, Ndigbo in Lagos have been trooping into the Lagos APC fold in droves. They have pledged to throw their full weight behind the APC guber candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. The support was total and unprecedented. You can therefore imagine how we feel as a party when this incident came just few days to the governorship elections.”
“Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos is not a card-carrying member of APC. He is not a leader in APC. He does not speak for APC. He did not speak for Governor Fashola of Lagos State. He did not speak for our National leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He did not speak for the incoming governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. His Royal Highness is at liberty to speak for himself and he spoke for himself only. Lagos APC appeals to Ndigbo not to take the statement as the position of the party in Lagos.”
“We passionately appeal to Ndigbo not to carry the statement credited to Oba Akiolu too far so as not to put a knife on things that have held us together for more than 50 years now. If out of annoyance you throw your cap away a mad man will take it and use it forever.”
“A lot is at stake in Lagos. Lagos has been fair to Ndigbo and Ndigbo have reciprocated by taking Lagos as their home no matter whose ox is gored. Lagos APC believes that Ndigbo will not burn the bridges because of this minor setback.
“Lagos APC has worked so hard with other Nigerians to enthrone a government at the centre and we cannot afford to throw all these gains away by allowing the mistakes of the last weekend to stand on our way to link Lagos effectively with the centre. Our own Oba Rilwan Akiolu’s slip of tongue should not be used as an excuse by Ndigbo to reverse these huge gains. Ndigbo should forgive and forget by voting APC en mass this coming Saturday.”