Lagos deportation: “I have nothing against the Igbos” – Fashola apologizes

by ‘Jola Sotubo

I’ve nothing against Igbo, says Fashola

Finally reacting to the deportation saga which generated outcry all over the country, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State said yesterday that he has nothing against the Igbos.

The governor was accused of ordering the deportation of 70 Igbo beggars out of Lagos about 2 months ago but he said it was a move to relocate 14 destitutes to Onitsha after rehabilitating them.

Speaking at the Silver Jubilee of the Igbo socio-cultural think tank, Aka Ikenga, at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, Fashola reportedly said he had no problem with the Igbo.

He said the highest number of cattle he received when his father died was from the Igbo.

At the event were Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Anyim Pius Ayim, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan; House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha; Archbishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah; former Foreign Affairs Minister Gen. Ike Nwachukwu; Aka Ikenga President Goddy Uwazurike; a former ambassador, Chief George Obiozor, and President of the Ohaneze Ndigbo Gary Enwo-Igariwey.

Others include former President, Aka Ikenga, Chief Chris Asodoka; Director of the Lagos Business School Prof. Pat Utomi; a former minister, Captain Emma Iheanacho; songster Onyeka Onwenu and Nollywood actor Kanayo O. Kanayo.

Fashola said:

“I came here to say thank you for the honour done to my family and the memory of my late father. People who clearly do not understand the actions taken and words spoken are those I owe an explanation. I cannot take the Igbo for granted because we have built a relationship based on tolerance, mutual respect, love and trust. That relationship was built by our ancestors and I put a lot of value on it.

“I offer unqualified and unreserved apology, if the actions taken have been misunderstood. But I think the basic issue Aka Ikenga must address is why people feel compelled to migrate from one part of the country to the other. Is it that some areas lack the resources to develop or perhaps some parts are endowed with enormous resources that are not adequately managed?

“How can development be so difficult in a zone that has produced people like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Alex Ekwueme and Gen. Nwachukwu, among others? A day like this calls for deep reflection on issues of our loyalties. Are we more Igbo than Nigerian or we are more Nigerian than Igbo?”


Fashola urged Lagos residents to participate in the Resident Registration Scheme (RRS) to enable the government meet its obligations to them.

In his goodwill message, Jonathan said Aka Ikenga had successfully served as an interface between the Igbo and the rest of Nigeria in the past 25 years, adding that the group was one of the most respected and articulate socio-cultural think tank in the country.

He urged Aka Ikenga to recommend solutions to the nation’s challenges.

The president said the goal of his administration is to foster national unity and peace and deepen democracy, urging Nigerians to be civil to one another.

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