The Director of Media and Publicity of the All Progressives Congress, Bayo Onanuga, has got Internet and Social Media Users, especially Twitter, talking since he released a tweet on March 18, 2023.
The former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria tweeted as the polls for the day were winding down.
That was the day the Independent National Electoral Commission conducted the Governorship and Houses of Assemblies polls nationwide.
As the results for Lagos State, the country’s former capital, but still its economic capital, started trickling in, Onanuga pulled the trigger on a lingering issue that many feared would lead to crisis and decide the outcome of the election.
Tweeting from @aonanuga1956, he said: “Let 2023 be the last time of Igbo interference in Lagos politics.
“Let there be no repeat in 2027.
“Lagos is like Anambra, Imo, any Nigerian state.
“It is not No Man’s Land, not Federal Capital Territory.
“It is Yoruba land.
“Mind your business.”
Before the election, there had been a serious divide between the Yoruba and Igbo over the control of Lagos.
Things got to a head when the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25, 2023 polls, Peter Obi, won the election in Lagos, defeating the candidate of the APC and President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who had governed the state for eight years.
Tinubu was expect to easily win the state, but he lost it to Obi, a former two-term Governor of Anambra State.
This completely changed the narratives for the upcoming election, which was then moved by one week from March 11, 2023 to March 18, 2023.
The resounding narratives then became on the one side: “Lagos is no man’s land,” and: “Lagos is Yorubaland.”
While those referred to as non-indigenes, especially the Igbos, who were rooting for the candidate of the Labour Party for the governorship poll, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, were credited with saying the State is a no man’s land, Yoruba speaking people, including Onanuga, claimed the state.
On another side in the battle for the soul of Lagos was a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who released an article titled: “Eight lessons for those saying Lagos is ‘no man’s land,’” a day after the conduct of the governorship election.
This has also generated its own reactions and counter-reactions, including a follow up article from Fani-Kayode, the APC PCC Director of New Media, himself.
Some of those who have reacted included one of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council and renowned activist, Aisha Yesufu.
The reactions are published elsewhere on this news website.
The United States of America, has, however, expressed concern over this development.
This was contained in its statement on the March 18, 2023 elections, also published elsewhere on this news website, by the US Mission in Nigeria.