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Saturday, April 13, 2024

APC Forum Welcomes Peace Initiative Between Lagos State Govt and Igbo Stakeholders

 

By Mathew Adeolu

The APC South-East Strategic Engagement Forum (ASESEF) has welcomed the ongoing peace initiative between the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Government, and critical Igbo stakeholders.

In a press release jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Hon. Moses Okezie-Okafor and the National Secretary, Dr. Uche Nworah, the Forum praised both parties for doing everything possible to give peace a chance.

The Forum noted that recent tension in the relations between Ndigbo living in Lagos and their hosts could be traced to statements made by some parties, candidates, and their supporters during the 2023 general elections. The forum also expressed concern about the demolition of some sections of Alaba International Market in Lagos by officials of the Lagos State Government, which it said added to the misunderstanding.

The forum thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for assuring that interests of Ndigbo living in Lagos, as well as their investments, will be protected. It would be recalled that the Lagos helmsman had addressed the press after the meeting and acknowledged that there were issues but they were being resolved. ‘There has been a lot of wrong information and communication. Our conversation this afternoon has cleared the air and we have seen the need for further collaboration and where wrongs have been expressed we corrected.’, he had said.

The Forum quoted the statement above with approval, calling it ‘pure statesmanship’. ASESEF similarly singled out Igbo stakeholders who have championed the peace initiative for commendation, especially Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Honourable Ben Kalu, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Ben Okoye, Paul Chukwuma, Sam Ohuabunwa, Joe Igbokwe, Jerry Chukwueke, and others.

The forum declared itself encouraged by the reassuring words of Governor Uzodinma, based on the assurances of Governor Sanwo-Olu, that Igbo interests in Lagos State are safe. The forum expressed trust that the committee that has been set up to further look into the issues will come up with strong recommendations that will help to deepen the relations between Ndigbo and their hosts in Lagos State even more.

The forum said that nearly every family in Igboland has at least one member living in Lagos and noted that peaceful coexistence of Ndigbo in Lagos, an APC State, would greatly enhance the governing party’s electoral fortunes in the South East. It concluded by saying that the Forum welcomes the peace moves because it believes that only through such strategic engagements can alliances be formed, stereotypes destroyed, and mutually beneficial relationships strengthened.

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