Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos has recanted his alleged threat against the Igbo in Lagos, that they would drown in the lagoon if they failed to vote for the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.
According to a statement issued on behalf of the monarch by Chief Lateef Aderibigbe Ajose, Opeluwa of Lagos, the monarch said: “My attention has been drawn to a publication in a national newspaper where HRM Oba Riliwanu Akinolu was alleged to have threatened Igbos in Lagos to make them vote for Ambode.
“Last Sunday, all honorary Eze Ndigbos in Lagos paid a courtesy call to HRM Oba Akinolu. At the meeting the visitors praised the Oba for his fatherly support for and cooperation with Igbo in Lagos. They assured him of their continued good neighborliness with other tribes in Lagos and support everything that’ll further strengthen that harmony.”
Chief Ajose further stated: “Oba Akiolu on his part acknowledged the enviable performance of Governor Fashola and his contribution to the growth of investments in Lagos. He gave the assurance that he is not disturbed or angry with South-East and South- South votes for President Jonathan as perceived by the Eze Ndigbos. The Oba thereafter called on the Igbo chiefs to show appreciation to Lagos State by supporting his candidate Mr. Ambode for continuity of excellence as they have earlier promised.
“He assured them of his continued support and assistance where needed and the meeting ended with the traditional breaking of kolas, alligator pepper, and bitter kola and pouring of libation on the ground. It was within this context that that the tradition of Lagos with regard to the lagoon came up. It was noted that whoever works against the throne and the interest and peaceful co-existence of Lagos would end up in the lagoon as per tradition.
“Oba Akiolu stated further that the Igbo people have not betrayed the throne. Lagos has also not betrayed the Igbo people. Lagos has done so much to make the Igbo comfortable and to prosper. For this, we expect reciprocal respect and understanding. The Oba of Lagos prays that the lagoon and the throne will continue to bless and protecQt all those who reside and visit Lagos.
“Oba Akiolu is the father of all irrespective of tribe, religion or political persuasion. In Lagos, we have an old traditional proverb that relates to the Lagoon. The Lagoon is unique to Lagos. The proverb stresses the need for unity and understanding when you do business in an environment and in this case when you live and do business in Lagos.
“Oba Akiolu prays for peace for the land of Lagos and prosperity for all its inhabitants.”