Tuesday, April 7, 2015 3:45 pm
Kazeem Ugbodaga & Eromosele Ebhomele
The Igbo in Lagos State have unanimously endorsed the candidacy of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode for this Saturday’s governorship poll in the state.
At a press conference in Festac, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, on Tuesday, the Eze Ndigbos in the state and other Igbo groups called on all Igbo in Lagos State to turn out massively to vote for Ambode on Saturday.
Speaking at the event, the Eze Ndigbo of Lagos, Chief Christian Nwachukwu, said the Igbo people in Lagos would support the candidacy of Ambode and urged the Igbo community in the state to vote for him to allow for continuity.
“We endorse Ambode as governor of Lagos State. Our being here is to assure our sons and daughters and ask them to vote for Ambode en masse. You have been doing it since 1999 and this time will not be an exception. We have maintained this relationship for many years and we must ensure that it continues,” he said.
Nwachukwu said despite the controversies generated by Oba Akiolu’s comment at the weekend, the Igbo people would still vote for Ambode because Akiolu is entitled to his own opinion.
“We are not here to talk about rights and wrongs, but politics and businesses. We will do our best to vote for Ambode. Our mind is made up and we love APC government and we have agreed to vote for the APC massively on Saturday,” he stated.
Addressing the press earlier, Secretary, Ndigbo for Ambode Campaign Organisation, Chief Chuks Nnalugha, said the Igbo people must join hands together to support the APC in Lagos by voting for Ambode.
“Ambode is a gentleman and he has assured us that our interest will be protected and that we will participate actively in his government. We should put aside what the Oba of Lagos said and vote for Ambode,” he said.
According to him, “the monarch simply wants the Igbos to show their love and it is only by voting for Ambode that we can show that love and have hope. A vote against Ambode is a wasted vote. Let us join hands together and ensure that Ambode wins,” he said.
Meanwhile, two major contenders for the position of governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode and Jimi Agbaje, would be holding separate town hall meetings with indigenes of the Middle-Belt part of Nigeria resident in the state as well as their leaders.
This is contained in a statement signed by James Ibechi, the Media Adviser to the Middle Belt Traditional Council on Tuesday.
Though the time and place for the meetings have not been announced, the statement said the meeting was important for the indigenes to decide which party to vote for during the Saturday election.
Ambode is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, while Agbaje is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state.
The indigenes, according to the statement, would be led to the meeting by the Chairman of the MBTC in the region, High Chief Emmanuel Ode Ochi.
“Chief Ochi who recently emerged the South-west MBTC chairman is expected to, amongst other things, demand from the governorship candidates a total representation of the Middle-Belt indigenes in the next administration of Lagos when they meet,” the statement said.
MBTC comprises all traditional chiefs and chairmen/presidents of the middle belt ethnic nationalities in the south western part of the country, and by virtue of interest, women and youth groups are equally represented in the council.
The ethnic nationalities in MBTC include Igede, Idoma, Igala, Etulo, Tiv, Rindere, Ebira, Ngas, Eggon, Zango Katarf, Alago, Berom, Mada, among others.
“The proposed meetings are coming after the MBTC led by the Igede High Chief and similar Arewa group recently met with the outgoing Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Wing of the Tafawa Balewa Square at the instance of the Presidency, over the just conducted presidential and National Assembly elections.
“Savouring the success of that meeting, Chief Ochi-led MBTC deems it important also to get the governorship candidates committed to the cause of the tax-paying and law abiding Middle-Belt indigenes who are resident in Lagos, hence the call to the townhall with Agbaje and Ambode.
“The outcome of the meetings to be held is expected to be made known to all members of council in Lagos before the election day,” the statement added.