Igbos for a Progressive Nigeria (IPAN) has commended people of the South East for distancing themselves from the recent #OccupyLekkiTollgate unrest called by a former presidential candidate of AAC, Omoyele Sowore.
The group in a statement jointly signed by its National President, Lawrence Onuzulike and Secretary, South East Zone Michael Chibuzor, said the decision further proved that Igbos in Lagos were not part of those seeking to cause undue tension in the State and possible destruction of properties and businesses.
It also noted that the absence of the instigators of the unrest at the supposed protest ground was a confirmation that they were using unsuspecting citizens as pawns to destabilize Lagos and the country at large.
The statement partly read, “IPAN is delighted with many law-abiding Igbos living in Lagos for listening to the call of IPAN not to participate in the #OccupyLekkiTollgate unrest called by a former presidential candidate of AAC, Omoyele Sowore, on 13th February, 2021.
“In fact, on the day of the planned chaos, “Igbos”, and not even the rogue organization, “IPOB”, trended on any of the popular social media platforms, especially twitter. And there were no reports of clashes between Ndigbo and people from other tribes.
“That was a good sign and it made Igbos in Lagos not to be seen as accomplices of those who seek to cause undue tension in the State and possibly destruction of properties and businesses for a second time.
“IPAN notes the professional role played by the Lagos State Police Command particularly the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in maintaining law and order at the Lekki Tollgate. Except for few incidents of bad treatment of some detained protesters, the Police discharged their duties most creditably.
“It is instructive that many of those who instigated the unrest were nowhere to be found at the supposed protest ground. This confirms our belief that they were merely using unsuspecting citizens as pawns in a grand plot to destabilize Lagos and the country at large.”
Appreciating the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and people of the state for being proactive and united in defending the state from forces bent on crippling it, IPAN called for continued support, pledging its preparedness to protecting Igbo interests in any part of the country and beyond.
“IPAN thanks the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for being proactive in defending the state from forces bent on crippling it as well as many Lagosians and other well-meaning citizens for standing up in unity and solidarity to defend Lagos from another round of destruction and violence.
“IPAN therefore appeals to Igbos to continue to support the organization and listen to IPAN more often as we work assiduously towards protecting the interests of Ndigbo in any part of the country and beyond.
“We call on Ndigbo once again to continue to live in peace and harmony with their hosts wherever they find themselves and remain law abiding so that they can thrive and reap the fruits of the land wherein they reside,” the statement added.