Lagos Origin Controversy: “Igbos are pioneers; they developed modern Lagos” – Ohanaeze President, Iwuanyanwu

President-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has said that Igbo forebears are “the pioneers” and “heroes” of modern Lagos State.

Iwuanyanwu, who stated this in a press briefing video that has gone viral, was indirectly responding to the comment the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, made in relation to the origin of State, which has generated controversy. The monarch had said that Lagos State was founded by the Binis.

However, speaking on the role of the South-East in the development of Lagos, Iwuanyanwu said Igbo forbearers made parts of the State habitable. He argued that when Lagos was made the federal capital territory, the Igbos rose to the challenge of investing to make the State befitting.

Iwuanyanwu said, “That is how the Igbos moved to Lagos by a sense of patriotism. Igbos converted swampy lands to habitable places. They built businesses, homes, schools, and developed Lagos. 

“These pioneers, our forebears, are the heroes of the time, the heroes of what we call today a very strong Lagos.  The Igbos in Lagos are highly respected citizens. Respected Yorubas and Igbos built very solid relationships with each other. Igbos are the great shareholders if Nigeria is a corporate body”.

However, Iwuanyanwu said that it would be difficult for the socio-cultural organisation to defend any of its kinsmen who flout Lagos construction laws.

He added that he was yet to get the facts about the ongoing demolition exercise in the State, but stated that he learnt that all demolished houses were found guilty of contravening the State’s land acquisition laws. 

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