The Coalition of Ethnic Nationalities Agenda for Atiku has warned the Igbo community not to fall for the sweet talks being reeled out by the rival of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 election in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje, by his rival, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress.
The group said this in a statement on Sunday in response to Sanwo-Olu’s pledge that an Igbo person would one day be governor in Lagos State.
“APC will sweet-talk you, then use and dump you, like they have done many people. Learn from them. Learn from your kinsman Ben Akabueze. Learn from Okada motorcycle operators. Learn from Afenifere. Learn from Iya Olojas. Learn from industrialists, commoners and the uncountable individuals and groups whose trust these APC people have betrayed,” the statement said.
Warning that Lagos State APC would only end up disappointing non-indigenes, CENTAA reminded them that the Igbo slot of Commissioner was withdrawn by the APC government as punishment for massively voting PDP in the last poll.
Akabueze, a banker was appointed Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget by the Lagos State Government in 2007 to 2015, after which he was dropped with no Igbo man making the cabinet thereafter.
CENTAA gave this counsel in a statement at the weekend by Adeoye Jolaosho, its Executive Secretary, in response to a statement that Sanwo-Olu made while being honoured with an Igbo chieftaincy title at the National Stadium, Lagos.
“Simply put, these people do not believe in anyone but themselves and anyone who will sell his soul to satisfy their selfishness and corruption,” CENTAA said. “These leopards cannot change their skin. Pharaoh will always be Pharaoh –manipulative, vindictive, selfish, inconsiderate, merciless and cunning.”
According to the group, Agbaje, who since 2015 held the Igbo title of: “Ezi Nwanne Ndigbo 1,” would not disappoint South-Easterners.
It said: “Not only will PDP appoint Igbo people and other non-indigenes as commissioners in their cabinet come 2019, but they will get board as well as special adviser positions,” CENTAA vouched for the PDP candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje.
“And you can take that to the bank. Those who know his know that his word is his bond.”
In addition, the statement reminded the South-Easterners that a notable monarch who openly supported APC had threatened to drive Igbo people into the lagoon should they go against his will and vote against his party in the 2015 polls.
“APC leaders are notorious for using and dumping people,” the group said, warning them not to forget how their businesses were demolished in Mosafejo-Oshodi Market, with lingering threats to overrun Igbo-dominated enterprise centres for purely political reasons in such places as ASPAMDA at Trade Fair Complex and Computer Village.
Dissuading the South-Easterners from lending support to the aspiration of Sanwo-Olu, CENTAA warned that backing APC in the coming polls would place their businesses on the line in Alaba, Idumota, Computer Village, GSM Village, ASPAMDA and other places.
“Now that they want your votes they are singing sweet nothings into your ears,” the statement noted, adding: “But continue to play along, until Election Day when you will teach these serial betrayers the lesson of their life and use your votes to push them out of power democratically.”
CENTAA further reminded the South-Easterners that the current leadership of Lagos had demonstrated an incontrovertibly palpable disdain for Igbo businesses and people.
“Go to Potoki Prisons in Badagry and see how many Igbo street traders are languishing in detention there in subhuman conditions,” it said.
Promising that Agbaje, with his background in activism, would liberate such detainees within 48 hours of taking power, CENTAA said such people would benefit from his statewide proclamation of freedom, in order to demonstrate unequivocally that he was not paying lip service to the concept.
“He has always said that as Governor he would reconstruct Ladipo Auto Spare Parts Market with adequate toilet facilities and parking arrangement that will upgrade that place to the international status that it deserves,” CENTAA said of the PDP candidate.
According to the statement, APC was currently erecting stumbling blocks to prevent Igbo voters from collecting their PVCs in pro-PDP councils and states because of the ruling party’s fear they would again vote massively for their traditional allies, PDP and its candidates.