Yoruba traditional rulers in Lagos State and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 pleaded with the Igbo residents in the state to forgive the inflammatory death threat by Oba Rilwanu Akiolu.
They made the plea during a meeting with 24 Igbo traditional leaders from different parts of Lagos, at Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Council Chamber, in the Festac area of the state.
Oba Akiolu had on Sunday, emphatically stated that any Igbo resident that goes against his wish and votes for People’s Democratic Party, PDP governorship candidate, Jimi AGbaje, would die in the water within seven days.
A video has also emerged which showed Oba Akiolu making the threat, even though the palace attempted to deny the statement.
Oba Kayode Akinyemi, the Alabirun of Ikare, who spoke on behalf of seven other Obas, said Lagos has been so peaceful for everyone because Yoruba do not segregate and everyone should work as one for continuous cooperation and co-existence.
He opined that Oba Akiolu’s threat should be seen as a slip of the tongue urging that Igbos and Yorubas would continue to dwell in peace.
In reaction, the Eze-Ndigbo of Amuwo-Oriade, Dr. Gordian Dimojiaku, spoke on behalf of the delegation.
He maintained that the Yoruba people are very accommodating and that the Igbo residents will continue to live with their hosts in peace.
He also explained that he was present while the monarch made the speech on Sunday, April 5, 2015 adding that he did not mean any harm.
Obanikoro who condemned the Oba’s threat noted that such habitual intolerance is not part of the characteristics of Lagos people.
He said, “The monarch has shown unambiguous biases despite his place as a custodian of the Lagos traditional institution and such premeditated and needless hostility could pitch the non-indigenes against the Lagos indigenes.
“These people have not only become arrogant with power, they are gradually becoming despots. This is who they are. If an individual lays claim to not only hand-picking a governorship candidate but alluded to also owning Lagos as it were, the Igbo should know what such a statement portends for them as a people sinisterly regarded as strangers.
“Igbo have their right to choice as every other Nigerian and stakeholders in the state and what happened at the Oba’s palace was an eye-opener for the Igbo to make an ideal choice on Saturday during the governorship poll.”