Ndigbo Lagos, a leading socio-cultural group representing the interests of Ndigbo residing in Lagos, is deeply concerned about the potential threats to the lives and properties of Ndigbo following the imminent judgment of the Presidential Election Tribunal.
We hereby appeal to the security agencies to take proactive measures to ensure the safety and security of Ndigbo in the post-judgement period.
The recent tribunal proceedings have generated heightened tension and apprehension within Nigeria, most especially the Ndigbo community in Lagos. As a peace-loving and law-abiding community, we urge all members to accept the outcome of the tribunal in good faith and explore lawful means to seek redress if necessary. However, we cannot ignore the unfortunate history of targeting and victimization experienced by our community in the aftermath of such events.
The protection of lives and properties is the primary responsibility of the security agencies. We implore them to remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding the lives and properties of every Nigerian citizen, especially Ndigbo, during this period of heightened vulnerability. We call on the relevant security agencies to deploy adequate personnel and resources to prevent any form of violence, intimidation, or harassment targeted at members of our community.
Ndigbo Lagos commends the efforts made so far by the security agencies in maintaining peace and order during the election period, even though more should have been done and ought to be done. We urge them to build upon their limited success and ensure an even more robust security presence across all regions with significant populations of Ndigbo, considering the long history of making us scapegoats in such situations. It is critical that every citizen, irrespective of their ethnic background, feels secure and protected within our great nation.
We also appeal to our fellow Nigerians, particularly political actors and supporters, to exercise restraint and embrace peaceful means of expressing their grievances or celebrating their victories, as prescribed by the law. We must collectively reject any form of violence or incitement that can further inflame tensions and endanger lives.
Finally, we call on leaders at all levels, community stakeholders, and well-meaning Nigerians to join us in advocating for peace, unity, and justice. We must work together to foster an inclusive society that protects the rights and lives of all its citizens regardless of their ethnicity. Ndigbo Lagos will continue to partner with relevant stakeholders and cooperate with the security agencies to promote a peaceful coexistence among all Nigerians within Lagos State and beyond.
Obi Abel Umahi, Major General [Rtd] OFR
5th September 2023