Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has declared that the Igbo community has no issues whatever with its Yoruba hosts in Lagos State.
President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the state, Chief Solomon Aguene, dismissed reports of tension between the two ethnic groups, describing them as handiworks of mischief-makers.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday in Lagos, Aguene said that the Igbo community remained grateful to its Yoruba hosts and will do nothing to alter the mutually beneficial relationship between the two.
He said insinuations of a deep-seated acrimony and suspicion between Igbos and Yorubas on the account of political affinities were untrue.
According to him: “The Igbos in Lagos are active contributors to the thriving Lagos economy through their individual and collective enterprise and industry helping to open up new economic and investment corridors in Lagos State.
“The Yorubas on the other hand have warmly welcomed and received the Igbos offering access to choice political and economic opportunities.
“To cement this very cordial relationship between the Igbos and the Yorubas, sons and daughters of Igboland over the years have been appointed or elected to enviable positions of leadership here in Lagos.”
He said though there were pockets of skirmishes during last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections in some parts of the state, especially in Okota, they had nothing to do with the cordial relationship the Igbos have enjoyed over the years from their Yoruba host communities.
He advised Ndigbo residents in Lagos and their host communities not to allow some mischievous elements to destroy the long standing friendship between them.
Aguene said the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, being the umbrella body of Ndigbos, has met with constituted authorities in the state, and has received the assurance that no such crisis exist.
“We therefore call on all citizens to remain law abiding, and respecting constituted authorities, we urge them to go about their normal businesses while we iron out all the grey areas including the immediate and remote causes of the alleged breach of public peace and possible solutions to prevent reoccurrence,” he stressed.
He also called on all political actors and government authorities in the state to begin to take steps to address noticeable gaps and trust deficits leading to regular ethnic disharmony in Lagos.
“We call on the Lagos State Government, the National Orientation Agency, the political actors and other critical stakeholders to do more in terms of orientation to help douse inter-ethnic rivalry, jealousy and mistrust,” he added.