Leaders of Igbo community in Lagos, on Monday, condemned the widespread violence and destruction of public and private assets in the state under the guise of #ENDSARS protests, describing the violence that characterised the hijacked protests as barbaric.
The leaders expressed this concern while speaking with newsmen at a press conference which took place at Surulere area of the state, saying that it was unfortunate that what started as a peaceful protest later went out of control, resulting in killings, maiming and looting spree by hoodlums.
The leaders include; Mr Joe Igbokwe, Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwoolu on Drainage Services; Eze Uche Dimgba, state co-ordinator of Ndigbo in Lagos APC; Pastor Okey Anorie, Babaloja Tejuosho Market and Eze Tony Anosike, Eze Ndigbo, Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area.
Igbokwe, who spoke on behalf of others, said Igbo leaders were sad that a state that had accommodated people from all parts of the country witnessed massive destruction of its assets during the protests, describing perpetrators as enemies of peace, even as he said them leaders found as funny the narrative that the destruction was perpetrated by the Igbos.
According to him, Igbos are builders and not destroyers, positing that what the Igbos do not they have a quarter of what they have in Lagos as assets, in the whole of the South-East.
“Also we find the narrative that the destruction was perpetrated by the Igbos as funny.
“We need to put it straight that Igbos are builders and not destroyers. What the Igbos have in Lagos in terms of assets, they do not have a quarter in the whole of the South East.
“So the Igbos are important stakeholders and would not be part of the destruction of a state that has accommodated them and where they are thriving,” he said.
Igbokwe, however, said it was possible that some criminal elements of South-East extraction participated in the mayhem, pointing out that such elements partook in the violence on their own and, therefore, did not represent the South-East.
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The governor’s aide called for the prosecution of anybody found culpable, saying a criminal was a criminal irrespective of his ethnic background.
Speaking further, he said Igbo leaders condemned the inciting statements of Mr Adeyinka Grandson, a self -professed Yoruba supremacist, and Mr Nnamdi Kanu of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra(IPOB) to cause discord between Yorubas and Igbos.
Igbokwe, while describing the duo as agents of destabilisation, said their agenda was to promote hatred among the various ethnic groups in the country.
Igbokwe, who is apex leader of APC in the state, pledged the support of Igbos to the state government in efforts to rebuild destroyed assets and further develop the state.
He also pledged the leaders’ support to stood solidly with Governor Sanwoolu and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in this low moment in the state, urging Nigerians to ignore the divisive rhetorics of the two characters represented by Adeyinka Grandson and Nnamdi Kanu.