Gboyega Akinsanmi with agency report
Igbos living in Lagos were told on Sunday to vote for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, or else they will die in the lagoon.
A visibly angry Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, in an unconcealed threat, stated that he was not ready to beg the Igbos, but if they repeated what they did on March 28 when they voted for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), President Goodluck Jonathan, then they should be ready for the consequences.
The governorship elections are scheduled to hold on Saturday, and it is believed that Igbo residents in Lagos will vote for the PDP candidate, Jimi Agbaje, just like they did during the presidential and National Assembly elections that led to the victory of PDP candidates of Igbo origin and from Delta State in three federal constituencies in Lagos.
The victory of the non-indigenes of Lagos, THISDAY gathered, has not gone down well with the Lagos chapter of the APC.
Speaking at a meeting with Igbo leaders in the state, according to an online news medium, Freedom Online, the first class monarch, who failed to recognise the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos, said: “On Saturday, if anyone of you goes against Ambode who I picked, that is your end. If it doesn’t happen within seven days, just know that I am a bastard and it is not my father who gave birth to me.
“Jonathan is my son and I speak to him everyday. By the grace of God, I am the owner of Lagos for the time being. This is an undivided chair. The palace belongs to the dead and those coming in the future.
“On Saturday, if anyone of you, I swear in the name of God, goes against my wish that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos State, the person is going to die inside this water.
“I’m not ready to beg you. Nobody knew how I picked Ambode. Jimi (Agbaje) is my blood relation and I told him that he cannot be governor in Lagos for now. The future belongs to God. I am not begging anybody, but what you people cannot do in Onitsha, Aba or anywhere, don’t do it here.
“If you do what I want, Lagos will continue to be prosperous for you. If you go against my wish, you will perish in the water.”
The monarch said anybody against Ambode did not wish the state well, adding, “I am for the progress, growth and development of Lagos. Ambode is highly cerebral, he’s a symbol and he is going to deliver the message which I, the Oba of Lagos, have said. And he will govern the state for another eight years.
“He is going on a mission and God will give him the wisdom and knowledge to fulfill that mission. Almost a year ago, I declared that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos and it will not change.
“From time immemorial, the previous occupiers of this house will say what they wanted after consultations with other people. And this hasn’t changed and it will not change at this time,” he said.
In a veiled reference to one of Jonathan’s predecessors, Akiolu stated that the crisis Nigeria was facing was not caused by the Jonathan administration but by another person he refused to name.
Continuing with his tirade, he said: “If not for the appeal from Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) and my highly respected maternal father, the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, all what is happening today is not the cause of the present government. The man who caused everything knows himself.”
In his response, the Eze-Ndigbo of Amuwo-Oriade, Dr. Gordian Dimojiaku, promised Akiolu that the Igbos in the state would support Ambode.
“The mistake of last Saturday was caused by everybody, not only the Igbos. It is not only the Igbos that were responsible for the votes. But we have learnt our lesson. Saturday’s election is going to be a different thing and Ambode is going to win.
“Everybody knows that when you fail the first time, you cannot afford to fail again. We are going to tell our people that Ezes from the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas are here and that we have sworn with the Oba that we are going to make sure that Ambode wins next Saturday’s election,” he said.