Igbo traditional rulers today endorsed the Governorship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje.
The spokesman and Secretary of Eze Ndi Igbo in the Diaspora, Eze John-Greg Okey Ezebuadi (Ogboroagha Ndigbo I), announced the endorsement today in a communiqué that emerged from a two-day meeting of the traditional rulers at the palace of Eze Hyacinth Ohazulike (OON), the Chairman of the Igbo Supreme Traditional Heads in Lagos State.
According to the communiqué read by Eze John-Greg Okey Ezebuadi, the Igbo leaders threw their weight behind the PDP flag-bearer because they found Agbaje’s programmes and manifesto most Igbo-friendly and their kinsmen could most achieve their hopes and aspirations under his administration.
They have instructed all Igbo people in Lagos to vote for Agbaje in the governorship polls slated for April 2015.
The text of the communiqué read:
All Traditional Heads of Ndi Igbo from every Local Govt Area and LCDA in Lagos State deliberated extensively on matters affecting Ndi Igbo in Lagos State, especially concerning the forthcoming elections.
The Meeting also received a visitor in the person of the PDP Governorship Candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, and his entourage.
Mr. Jimi Agbaje briefed the meeting on his mission and manifesto.
The Igbo Traditional Heads, after exhaustively studying the Manifesto, resolved that the interests of Ndi Igbo in Lagos State are better protected under a future Agbaje-led Administration, and accordingly endorsed him as the candidate of Ndi Igbo in the forthcoming elections on behalf of themselves and Igbo people in the State.
The Traditional Heads in Lagos State urged Ndi Igbo in Lagos to vote for Jimi Agbaje.
Signed for and on behalf of Ndi Ezeudo in Lagos State and on behalf of the Association of Ndi Eze Ndi Igbo in the Diaspora, Lagos State Chapter.
Sources said that at the meeting that lasted from Sunday to Monday, the Igbo leaders had expressed regret that despite support extended to the incumbent regime of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, their people had enjoyed no collateral benefits.
Instead, according to them, Igbo indigenes and businesses had been at the receiving end of harsh and inhuman government policies and programmes.
They reportedly recalled instances of the unceremonious deportation of indigent and diseased Igbo people from Lagos.
Sources said other reasons cited were the mysterious fire incidents visited on markets where Igbo people had businesses and the subsequent allocation of such places to property developers, who went ahead to offer such renovated places at cutthroat rates.
It will be recalled too that the Lagos State Government had severally shut down Igbo business complexes like Alaba and Ladipo markets, on the ground of poor sanitary conditions, a practice that cost business losses in billions of naira.
Apart from the Chairman, Eze H.N. Ohazulike (OON), other signatories to the communiqué included: Eze John-Greg Ezebuadi (Secretary and spokesman), Eze Benjamin Elui, Eze Ikem Agbasi, Eze Jonathan Ekwem and Eze Samuel O. Udo.
Others who appended the document were: Eze Austin Ebisi, Eze Orji Okafor, Eze Godwin Okafor, Eze Guy Nwajiofor Okolie, Eze Simeon Uduije, Eze Ikenna Onuegbu, Eze (Dr.) Sir Chris Anyakorah and Eze Emmanuel Obialo.
Reacting to the endorsement, Agbaje said it was a call to service and responsibility.
In a statement he sent through his Director of Media and Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, Agbaje commended the Igbo traditional leaders for the endorsement, saying, their support was invaluable towards effecting the change that Lagosians truly desire at this moment in the history of the state.
“We have often said that the indigenes and non-indigenes have value to add to Lagos State and we cannot do without each other,” he said. “We shall synergise with the Igbo and other non-indigenes in Lagos State to develop this state into the mega city-state that time and destiny have fashioned it out to be.”
Agbaje promised that a PDP government under him would strive for the welfare of every citizen in Lagos State whether high or low, indigene or non-indigene.
“We have pegged our programmes on three pillars, education, health and security. And we can assure that in no way shall we apply these and other great plans we have for Lagos discriminately,” he said.