Ohanaeze Berates Bode George For Saying Igbos Should Focus On Developing Own States - Watchtower media

Ohanaeze Berates Bode George For Saying Igbos Should Focus On Developing Own States
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo has berated Chief Bode George over his attack on Igbo people whose houses and properties are being demolished by the Lagos State Government.
George, a former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had in an interview said it was disheartening and unpatriotic that despite the challenges facing the country, it was ‘who owns Lagos’ that some people were preoccupied with.

He asked, “Why the Igbos couldn’t focus on developing their own states instead of Lagos? What stops Iwuanyanwu from developing the Igbo land instead of developing Lagos?”

Also according to him, given the pervasive problem of widespread poverty among Nigerians, the subject shouldn’t be the main focus of discourse.

Reacting in a statement issued on Monday by Ohanaeze National Publicity Secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, the apex Igbo body described George's statement as "unstatesmanly and bigoted".

It noted that George’s unsolicited support for the policies and programmes of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration was both curious and misdirected.
It reiterated the statement made by Ohanaeze President General, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, that when Lagos was elevated as the capital of Nigeria, it attracted persons, groups and governments from all parts of Nigeria and across the world like is being done today in Abuja.

"The Igbo leader pointed out that, Lagos as a federal capital gave rise to multi-ethnic inflow, population explosion and diverse economic activities. And commended the Igbo spirit of corporate social responsibility by adding values to whichever environment they find themselves," the statement said.

Ohanaeze defended its President General's statement, adding that the assertion was correct that the Igbo, like every other group, did not acquire their properties in Lagos by brute force; instead were lawfully purchased and evidenced with certificates of occupancy.

"Any person who knows Lagos will agree with the Igbo leader that some of the Igbo properties are standing on what used to be swamps. Iwuanyanwu used the press conference to condemn the demolition of properties by the authorities of Lagos State, most of which are owned by the Igbo," Ogbonnia said.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo said that it would have ignored George's comments if not that silence may lend credence to the unsuspecting minds the "whimsical figment of a transactional imagination."

"In the first place, the unsolicited support to the policies and programmes of the Lagos State Government led by Babajide Sanwo-Olu by Chief Bode George is both curious and misdirected. Otherwise, how will an elder statesman in the mold of Bode George query an ethnic group for their loyalty, allegiance, commitment and development of the former capital of Nigeria. 

"The George theory will also query why are other Nigerians are obligated to the development of Abuja to give it the required international status. For Bode George to suggest that the Igbo erred by contributing to the development of Lagos is not only un-statesmanly, bigoted, narrow-thinking and self-serving but stands at variance with the ethics and decorum of a man who has benefited immensely from the corporate existence of Nigeria.

"Bode George alluded to the prevailing pervasive poverty in the country and in his judgment, believes that destruction of peoples’ property in Lagos is an antidote to poverty.

"Ohaneaeze Ndigbo has watched with dismay, the selective vocality of Chief Bode George; when many parts of the Alaba International Market were destroyed, George was mute. When there was intimidation of voters in Lagos state, George was mute, among several others.

"Finally, the Igbo will remain broad-minded, hardworking, law-abiding, forward-looking, dynamic and courageous even in the face of daunting challenges," he said.

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