If Tinubu Wants To Get Ndigbo Votes In Lagos And Sanwo Olu To Win With Wide Margin, This Must Be Addressed Now
Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos, in this piece made available to OpenLife highlights characters that are the arrow head in the challenges bedeviling Lagos Ohanaeze Ndigbo. He however sues for co operation and commitment to the true spirit of Igbo nation building especially as 2023 general elections beckon
There are few individuals who have been the problems of Ndigbo and the host community in Lagos and that is why in every election, it is difficult to convince Ndigbo to cast their votes for APC.
80 percent of the propaganda that is causing problem in Lagos between Ndigbo and Yoruba people is from Joe Igbokwe. Joe Igbokwe, claims to have been a staunch member of defunct Alliance for Democracy, AD, Action Congress, AC and now the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC but Ndigbo knows that it is for his own selfish interest.
He uses APC logo to run on Ndigbo’s head.
However, if I may ask, what has been his achievements in all the years he spent in AD, AC and now APC? It is all for his personal interest.
How many souls of Ndigbo in Lagos including south east has he won to believe in APC?
The answer is zero.
I have told him that I will not allow him to be using Ndigbo in Lagos as congregation that represents the instrument of his personal business and personal benefits.
Joe Igbokwe is a strong member of APC, no doubt. He has also been the enemy of Ndigbo by abusing Ndigbo and causing trouble in Igbo associations.
And now, he wants to hijack Ohanaeze and tells Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State who is now the presidential candidate of APC and other party members that he is the one who controls Ndigbo in Lagos.
But it will not work even though they are threatening me that they would drive me away from Lagos.
Any member of APC who is vying for any post from presidency to councillorship and expecting that Joe will give him a bumper votes from Ndigbo is beating around the bush.
Joe Igbokwe doesn’t respect Igbo leaders. He also does not respect people in upper and lower classes.
His arrogance cannot be cured. However, we are happy with the personal success he has recorded in APC even though we all Ndigbo know that his service in the party is for his personal interest to enrich himself and not to win members that will believe in the party.
He can gather congregation and make video and share bags of rice which he can afford through the money he is making from APC because that is the only business he has.
I am particularly happy for his success especially as I am his apex leader in my capacity as President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos.
So, Joe Igbokwe is my subject. But he doesn’t respect me because he thinks I have done great for the party and I will take his position.
He has come to thank me in my office because he never believed that Ndigbo will listen me and believe in APC as many as we have now in Lagos.
But not to worry, Yoruba people are very clever in terms of politics.
They see what Joe Igbokwe is getting from them as a sacrifice so that other tribes will see they are not detribalized in APC.
They know his capacity and what they can achieve from him especially in the area of the encouragement he has in himself to abuse elders and leaders when there is need to do so whenever anyone goes against them.
But Joe’s own is whether you are against him or not, he will abuse you without minding what will happen.
It is very difficult for a Yoruba person to abuse his elder especially their leaders. This character of abuse, arrogance is inborn in Joe Igbokwe’s life.
That is why he will never change no matter his age.
So, the publicity job given to him, sometime ago, by the party fits his character.
For the purpose of clarity, it was during governor Sanwo Olu’s endorsement in 2019 that I, chief Solomon Ogbonna and Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, made Ndigbo to understand that the government of the day in Lagos State has been caring for Ndigbo but Joe never allowed that to manifest in the lives of Ndigbo.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Enugu has been fighting me till date simply because I raised Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s hands up in front of thousands of Ndigbo at Alaba International market, Lagos and told them that we must stop being in opposition to the government of the day in Lagos and that they must vote for Sanwo Olu.
Immediately we came down from the stage at Alaba international market, Joe Igbokwe came close to me and told me that it was then he believed that I was genuinely working for APC.
I responded by reminding him that I always go through his propaganda in the media but I don’t care.
I made him to realize that I am an Ebonyi man and that we are like the Yorubas people. I told him that we respect culture and tradition and that our word is our bond.
Before I came in as President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos especially during 2015 elections in Lagos, if any Igbo man claimed to be a member of APC, we would see him as an outcast.
Specifically, when I took over the mandate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in 2018, I and my brother, Chief Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, turned things round. That is the reason over 70 percent of Igbo is now singing APC, APC in Lagos because they are seeing what the governor is doing for them through me and my brother, Ifeanyi.
In every general assembly meeting of Ohanaeze, I encourage every person to join Ndigbo in APC. Many of them returned with sad tales complaining that it is only when they want use them for background in photograph or video to show either the governor or party member that they bring them together with little or nothing for logistics.
Some of them complained bitterly that for two years, they never received up to N2k for transport and that they would rather stay with me in Ohanaeze because they are receiving all the things that come from the governor.
Interestingly, it was when I became the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo that I began to avail them what government has been doing.
As a result of this, Joe Igbokwe became angry, thinking that I would take his position.
Joe Igbokwe called me one night and asked: “Who is this Ifeanyi? After we have suffered for years in AD, AC and APC, the governor is jumping us to listen to him.”
I replied him that it is not how long but how well.
For the avoidance of doubt, despite how some of you have described Ebonyi as the least Igbo, governor Dave Umahi has proved you wrong as a result of the kind of development he brought to Ebonyi State including the way I have uplifted Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Lagos. No governor in South East has achieved half of Umahi’s efforts in Ebonyi.
But sadly, what Ndigbo Ohanaeze national leaders are doing is that they have betrayed my dear lovely brother, governor Dave Umahi.
Before I became the President, so bad was the situation that Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu scrapped Ohanaeze Ndigbo out of Lagos State protocol list when he saw how they fought over few bags of rice and cow.
I, Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos and my brother, Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, who, by the grace of God, would be the next governor of Ebonyi State, have done well to bring the face of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to the government of the day in Lagos and we got it right.
If we have Sanwo Olu in Lagos and have the presidency in Abuja in the same party, Ndigbo will get to the promised land in no distant time because I believe the man, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Today, their problem is that I am going to push Ndigbo in Lagos to be campaigning for Sanwo Olu and Tinubu to win the elections because they know that if any party gets Ndigbo in Lagos, they have gotten the highest population of Ndigbo all over the world.
Moreso, any Igbo man that resides in Lagos, whatever he tells his brothers and family residing in other parts of the world is what they would believe. Ohanaeze Ndigbo is a socio cultural organization, highly apolitical but politicians have hijacked everything and we cannot leave it for them and live with hunger and suffering.
Our principal officers in Ohanaeze are not coming to contest any political office. But we all know that if you don’t play a role in a meeting you belong to, what ever they say, you will oblige.
So, our participation is of great importance for our dear life and the future of our children.
If it were the time of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and Tafawa Balewa when we had 99 percent of honesty in leadership, we could go and sleep but at the moment, we must be awake. At this time and season, nobody can tell me about Tinubu because I have been living in Lagos since 1981 in Maroko, which is now known as Lekki Phase 1.
I know the foundation he has laid and that foundation is functioning and touching many lives especially our top business men who are living in Lagos.
He made so many of them.
Ndigbo has seen that they have gotten it right by voting Sanwo Olu in 2019. Sanwo Olu is a man that believes that all Lagosians must be inclusive in his government.
But in the enclave of Igbo leaders, what have they done to actualize Igbo presidency given all the supports governor Umahi has been giving to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu?
What are they doing to organize for Peter Obi who has emerged as Labour Party Presidential candidate?
Or they are just waiting for who is moving from house to house meeting politicians to know who pays the highest?
My sincere joy is that the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo World Wide, Professor George Obiozor is one among the most honest Igbo leaders I have ever meet in my life including Ebuti Ukiwe, late Ndubusi Kanu and few others.
There is cabal in Ohanaeze Ndigbo national headquarters in Enugu and they are old men that have sold out and compromised.
Since Professor George Obiozor became the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo World Wide, they have not allowed him to hold meetings as it is supposed to.
Sometimes, in six months, there will be no single meeting.
Sadly, the same people came to conduct election and got someone they can intimidate.
They conducted the kangaroo election against a valid court judgment in my favour.
And they claim to be top personalities, most educated and exposed in the world. They claim their family made every Igbo man who they are.
This is the kind of trend you can never find in Yoruba man or in Hausa man, boasting over common people.
With this, how ready are we for the Igbo presidency?
Those who conducted the illegal election are looking for means to get an appointment to present the Kangaroo election winner to governor Sanwo Olu.
How can you conduct election against a valid court judgment?
When Hope Uzodinma got his mandate from court and became the governor of Imo State, they described him as a rogue and 419 but today, they are going there to lick his shoes because of money.
And I can assure you that this Ohanaeze Ndigbo from Enugu national who are looking for a way to meet governor Sanwo Olu will never support Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
That is exactly what they are fighting.
This is because they want to support someone they know they can manipulate to talk to Ndigbo in the night.
Nothing to worry about.
Governor Sanwo Olu is a gentle man. He will listen to them even as he knows their objective in Lagos.
But I trust the Yoruba in politics. They are good especially when you look at the development in all their States.
But in Ndigbo, there is no unity. No collective efforts to get thing done for the good of everyone and development of Igboland. Decisions are taken by this few cabal who are old men but are still hustling.
First, they came with their profile to intimidate common Igbo people and unleash decisions on their heads.
They have no track record of supporting these common people with finance apart from their biological children.
You don’t hold meeting with your NEC members and you are taking decision.
The vice president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo World Wide has never been consulted in any decision and so many other NEC members because of this cabal who claim to be rich but poor in spirit.
Ndigbo has internal problem that is affecting us.
No matter how you defend it, truth will save through.
No matter how you try to down play the fact, we will never get an answer or result in whatever we are pursuing.
That is why Nnamdi Kanu is not comfortable that they can save him.
What we need is prayers for Nnamdi Kanu for God to save him and help him and all of us.
When he started this journey, he visited all these people calling themselves leaders.
First was Ohanaeze headquarters in Enugu. Nobody advised him. But if they want to collect money from government or individual politicians, they would say they tried to advise him.
Some of them did not even give him attention because he is not among the Igbo oil magnate and his brother is not a governor or minister.
If Nnamdi has any problem, they contributed enough to it. Igbo man never listens to the information of a common man.
I have uplifted Ohanaeze in Lagos state and now people want to kill themselves because of the association I have elevated.
So, who will give chance for who in Igbo presidency?
Peter Obi is a wonderful man but his enemies will come from most Igbo leaders.
Yes, common men will support him, no doubt. But the highest mistake any Igbo man who wants to become president will make is to take the information of our leaders serious.
The person must concentrate more on common men and women especially in churches and streets. If anyone with presidential interest relies on our Igbo leaders, he will fail woefully in the south east.