Ndigbo living in Lagos have been told to first serve, if they want to lead.
They were also told to remember that they are tenants in Lagos regardless of the landed property they own. Against this backdrop, they vowed to deliver block votes to Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023 general elections.
The foregoing pieces of advice were given to the Igbo at the inauguration of executive/ leaders of Igbo in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos State on Tuesday.
Chief Joe Igbokwe, former publicity secretary of the party in Lagos State, who presided at the inauguration urged the Igbo to be consistent in their support for the APC and assured them that their support for the party will bear fruit at the appointed time.
He said: “By the grace of God by my works, not works dating back to 1986 till date, I will say without sounding immodest that I am the face of the Igbo in APC Lagos. Even though it is not a position, I am the face. I have faced the bullet and the abuse of being in the APC, I have had running battles. If my mates have been presidents and governors, what is being apex leader of Igbo APC Lagos? What is apex leader? It does not exist but it is what we use to help our people. Our problem is that everybody wants to be in the front seat but where are you coming from and what have you done? I have ben consistent, so if you want to become a leader, you must first serve.”
Igbokwe, who is Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources to the Lagos State governor urged the Igbo to embrace the APC as a party considering what the party has done for the zone.
“I the subsequent elections I think we have no other choice than to join the APC, considering what is happening in the South East in terms of development. I don’t think there is a project as big as the second Niger Bridge as we speak today. We don’t want to say anything yet untill we see that bridge, but I know it is getting to conclusion and that by next year we will see that bridge. That bridge was used to dupe our people for 21 years.”
He promised to always make time to organise Igbo APC Lagos, describing himself as the gateway between the Igbo in Lagos and the State Government.
“We are here to inaugurate our leadership, I am not the coordinator but they will come to me if they have problems and I will solve it for them. If they want to see the governor, I am the gate. You cannot be in government and not deliver, we have to deliver. The work just started today, you can see the presidents of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos and Igbo Speaking Community Lagos here, these are people we will work with.”
Speaking, president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos, Chief Solomon Ogbonna, urged Igbo resident in the state to always abide with and respect the customs and traditions of their South West host.
He said the Igbo remain tenants in Lagos State regardless of the landed property they may acquire.
He said: “The Igbo are tenants in Lagos no matter the property you may acquire. We will continue to support the Lagos State Government in all it is doing.”
The 15 member executive inaugurated at the event is led by Eze Uche Dimgba as coordinator; Chief Chris Ekwilo, deputy coordinator; Princess Oby Onu, woman leader and Uche Babatata, organising secretary. The 11-member board of trustees is headed by Joe Igbokwe.
Responding on behalf of the new executive, Dimgba promised to galvanise the Igbo to work for the APC.
He said: “I want to assure you that my inauguration is a call to duty. I will lead transparently and I will reach out to the Igbo wherever they are to join the APC. I promise that the Igbo votes come 2023 will be massive.”