The candidature of Mr Jimi Agbaje, Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate in Lagos has received more acceptance from the Igbo speaking community in the state as Igbo traditional rulers threw their back behind him as their candidate in the fourth-coming governorship election in April.
In a communiqué issued by the spokesman and Secretary of Eze Ndi Igbo in the Diaspora, Eze John-Greg Okey Ezebuadi (Ogboroagha Ndigbo I), the Igbo traditional rulers said they endorsed Agbaje because they found his programmes and manifesto most Igbo-friendly and that their kinsmen could most achieve their hopes and aspirations under his administration.
The Traditional rulers instructed all Igbo people in Lagos to vote for Agbaje in the governorship polls slated for April 2015.
In a communiqué that emerged from a two-day meeting of the traditional rulers at the palace of Eze Hyacinth Ohazulike (OON), the Chairman of the Igbo Supreme Traditional Heads in Lagos State, all Traditional Heads of Ndi Igbo from every Local Govt Area and LCDA in Lagos State deliberated extensively on matters affecting Ndi Igbo in Lagos State, especially concerning the forthcoming elections.
The Igbo Traditional Heads, after exhaustively studying a Manifesto presented by Mr. Agbaje, resolved that the interests of Ndi Igbo in Lagos State are better protected under a future Agbaje-led Administration, and accordingly endorsed him as the candidate of Ndi Igbo in the forthcoming elections on behalf of themselves and Igbo people in the State.
The Igbo leaders had expressed regret that despite support extended to the incumbent regime of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, their people had enjoyed no collateral benefits.
Instead, according to them, Igbo indigenes and businesses had been at the receiving end of harsh and inhuman government policies and programmes.
They recalled instances of the unceremonious deportation of indigent and diseased Igbo people from Lagos, citing the fire incidents visited on markets where Igbo people had businesses and the subsequent allocation of such places to property developers, who went ahead to offer such renovated places at cutthroat rates.
It will be recalled that the Lagos State Government had severally shut down Igbo business complexes like Alaba and Ladipo markets, on the ground of poor sanitary conditions, a practice that cost business losses in billions of naira.
Reacting to the endorsement, in a statement by his Director of Media and Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, Agbaje commended the Igbo traditional leaders for the endorsement, saying, their support was invaluable towards effecting the change that Lagosians truly desire at this moment in the history of the state.
“We have often said that the indigenes and non-indigenes have value to add to Lagos State and we cannot do without each other,” he said.
“We shall synergise with the Igbo and other non-indigenes in Lagos State to develop this state into the mega city-state that time and destiny have fashioned it out to be.”
Agbaje promised that a PDP government under him would strive for the welfare of every citizen in Lagos State whether high or low, indigene or non-indigene.
“We have pegged our programmes on three pillars, education, health and security. And we can assure that in no way shall we apply these and other great plans we have for Lagos discriminately,” he said.