TOPE POPOOLA- Comments on Facebook post of Moyo Okediji.
POLITICS DIGEST- I know from comments here that a great deal of commentators either don’t live in Nigeria or are elites who choose to live in denial. The Presidential election result in Lagos was a major shift in the political calculus of Nigeria. Those who voted massively for Obi and LP did so across ethnic divides. I have 2 children in Lagos. They are both Obidients. From VI, Lekki, Ikeja, youths voted massively for Obi and probably would have done same for GRV. As soon as the result was announced, the GLOATING and the BOASTING began. You need to see the virulence of it on Twitter. It was no longer about the intended shift or making a point against establishment. It suddenly became an ethnic thing, a victory for the power and influence of Ndigbo in Lagos. Some even brazenly made videos to that effect and the “no man’s land” refrain suddenly started gaining traction. I was appalled by it all. I knew it would not end well. I saw many of those tweets and videos. One of my sons told me that some of the things he heard from Igbo guys made him regret casting his vote for Obi. There is no smoke without fire. It is interesting that when Yoruba people started responding to the unabashed provocation, the ethnic baiting started. If I cannot control the ferocity of your slap on my face, you cannot control the viciousness of my reaction. It’s so unfortunate that an eye for an eye only makes everyone go blind!
Many of us are in foreign lands that have accommodated us without caring where we come from. Sometimes, we still struggle with racism even when we hold the passports of our host nations. Nonetheless, we dare not stand and abuse the sensibilities of our hosts. That is the issue here and should be divorced from blatant ethnicity and tribal bigotry. How come we didn’t have all of these outrages till after election? And it is NOT because Tinubu lost to Obi in Lagos. That was made possible by people who just needed a change in Lagos. LP would probably have repeated that feat but for the issue I mentioned above. Prof and I were contemporaries in College and in our days, tribe and ethnicity were never issues. To a large extent, many Nigerians still think that way, especially in the SW where Ndigbo and other tribe’s have been given ample room to flourish. I asked an Igbo friend to mention ONE Yoruba man who has one acre of land to his name in his part of Igboland. He could not.
Those who come to equity must always approach the table with clean hands. Igbos have thrived and continue to thrive unmolested in Lagos. They continue to contribute significantly to its economy. Ndigbo who mean well should address those who are stoking the fires among their elite, rather than complain about the attendant conflagration. Deal with the cause, the consequence will be taken care of.
Almost every Igbo person I attempted to engage in conversation on the candidacy of Obi when I was trying to decide who to support, responded with anger, attacks on my person and evidently ethnic slurs rather than reason. I had to DELIBERATELY rise above those pedantic narratives.
During #endsars, Nnamdi Kanu was on social media and Radio Bi.afra supervising and commanding the burning of BRT and public infrastructure in Lagos. I heard it myself, and people were calling him to update him as the they burnt down buses and police stations. He was particular and emphatic about Lagos and overrunning the city. I was shocked but, as a die-hard nationalist, I simply shrugged it off as the rantings of a deluded agitator. Lt.Col Victor Banjo, a Yoruba man was Ojukwu’s friend and fought on the side of Biafra during the Civil War. He led many offensives against Federal troops and led the onslaught that captured the then Midwest. Then Ojukwu ordered him to proceed and take Lagos. Banjo refused that order. He was invited back to Enugu and Ojukwu personally supervised his execution as a traitor to the Biafran cause. I believe the last election only acted as a pin that pricked an inflated balloon.
The question in my mind in all of these is, “WHY THE OBSESSION WITH LAGOS?”