Igbo group knocks Igbokwe over inciting IPOB claims
By Gabriel Chy Alonta
A pan Igbo group has accused the special adviser to Lagos state government on drainage and water resources, Mr. Joe Igbokwe of making inciting and misleading claims, linking members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to wanton destruction of police station and public infrastructure in the state.
Orient Daily recalls that on May 9, 2021, a video emerged on social media, where Mr. Igbokwe claimed an insider knowledge of a clandestine plot by some Igbo youths who, he believed were IPOB members, to kill, burn down police stations and destroy public infrastructure in Lagos. However, in a press statement by the Lagos branch of the group, and signed by the director of communication and strategy, Prince Tony Eze, the group said it was saddened by the claims of Mr. Igbokwe, which, it described, as mischievous, false, baseless and inciting.
The statement further reads, “The governments of the South Eastern States of Nigeria and various security agencies in the country have initiated investigations to unravel the persons behind the killings and destruction of properties in the South East, and we believe strongly in their competence and ability to unravel the masterminds and bring them to justice. “As usual with such serious investigations the police and other security agencies expect support through information from responsible citizens of which Joe Igbokwe being a government insider is very much aware of and in a good position to comply with.
“Rather than do this, Mr. Igbokwe irresponsibly went to town with his personal conclusions on who these perpetrators are and what evil they are planning for Lagos, notwithstanding the ongoing official investigations. This probably goes to suggest that Mr. Igbokwe knows more than the ordinary eyes could see, and should be invited by the relevant security agency to clarify his source which he claims is credible.
“The Lagos state government had initiated and conducted investigation on what happened during the EndSars protest, and are well equipped with relevant information on the perpetrators of that heinous act. “The Igbos were not the cause of the Biafran war, and have no intention to engage into any acts as may suggest any intention of such in the foregoing circumstance.
“We condemn in clear terms, the killings going on all over the country, including in the South East, and sympathise with the families of officers and civilians, who have had to endure the loss of their dear ones. We pray their soul to rest perfect in the bosom of our Lord. “We wish to reiterate that Igbo youths are not killers, neither are they arsonists, but are positively recognized as hardworking contributors to the development of our country. We have been victims rather than perpetrators of killings, burnings and looting in Nigeria.
“It has become expedient for us to issue this rebuttal, in the light of the heightened tension in the country, being convinced that some malevolent minds may take advantage of Mr. Joe Igbokwe’s recklessness with unsubstantiated rhetoric to spread mistrust, cause disunity and escalate mischief in such manner and disguise, as may cause fingers to be wrongly pointed at the Igbos in Lagos. We therefore call on Mr. Joe Igbokwe to desist from reaching hasty conclusions, and spreading of falsehood.
“We enjoin Ndigbo across Lagos to go about their normal business. And should not engage in any unlawful acts that would endanger the good relationship we enjoy with the people of Lagos state. “Finally, we want to remind Mr. Igbokwe that respect for the elderly is one of the cornerstone of Igbo values and civilised behaviour. Hence, we call upon him to retrace his steps and apologise to Chief Mbazulike Amechi for the unconscionable remarks he made against him”.