…As CNPP urges Obi not to allow issue degenerate to rancour…
Controversy has continued to trail the alleged deportation of about 70 Igbo traders by the Lagos State Task Force to Anambra State.
The Lagos State Task Force on July 24, 2013 allegedly dumped about 70 persons said to be Igbo traders in the State at Upper Iweka Onitsha, Anambra State.
The Lagos Chapter of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) on Friday urged Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State not to allow the deportation of Igbos controversy cause rancour among Igbos and Yorubas in Lagos.
But the governorship candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) in Anambra state, Chief Udo Udeogaranya described the move by Lagos state government as unconstitutional, illegal and immoral.
Also, a former Commissioner for Health in Lagos state and stalwart of the Lagos state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Segun Ogundimu called on the president and the National Assembly to probe the deportation.
CNPP urges Obi not to allow issue degenerate to rancour
In a statement by its state chairman, Mr Akinola Obadia, the CNPP said that the deportation issue must not be allowed to degenerate to an extent that it will cause disaffection among peace-loving Igbo people who have settled in the State, transacting their legitimate businesses and happily living with their Yoruba brothers.
”We in the CNPP have gone extra mile to find out the fact from Government source, on the issue of the return of 14 destitute persons in the State to their States of Origin. We decided to get the true picture of the matter against the disinformation and rumour some people are spreading.
It added that “we believed that it is on record that in this exercise, three States were involved, and to ensure respect for the dignity of the human person, Lagos State Government notified the Government of each affected State at least 90 days ahead of time to enable them to make adequate arrangements for accommodation and rehabilitation of the individuals.”
It however warned against tribalising the relocation which it claimed was a glaring National issue to create problem where it did not exist.
It said “Anambra state Government never replied Lagos State Government request neither in writing nor by practically effecting the removal of their destitute citizens in the State. Why then should anybody start making unnecessary noise after 90days notification by Lagos state Government.”
Jonathan, NASS must probe deportation — Ogundimu
Addressing a press conference in Lagos, Dr Segun Ogundimu who faulted the deportation called on President Goodluck Jonathan to wade into the matter. He said the Lagos PDP was not part of it.
Ogundimu, a former Commissioner for Health in Lagos state, appealed to Igbo speaking community in Lagos to restrain themselves from reacting rashly.
He, however, stated that if urgent steps were not taken to address the issue, “it may be an invitation to an anarchy that may consume us and our nascent democracy.”
The party chieftain warned that “this act as moral equivalence of extension of Boko Haram insurgency in Lagos and totally distance ourselves and the real Lagosians from this myopic act. We have never seen an Igbo man begging for alms on the streets of Lagos and therefore refuse to buy the story of destitute slammed on these innocent souls.”
Disagreeing with the deportation, Udeogaranya said it was contrary to the 1999 Constitution.
Quering the rationale, he said “Is it not an abdication of authority and responsibility by Lagos State government and transfer of authority and responsibility to Anambra State government to cater and cover the welfare for these Nigerians deported by Lagos State government, even when our Constitution stipulates that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”
Calling on President Jonathan to wade into the matter, he said “I therefore call on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government to hence transfer 50 percent of Lagos State monthly allocation to Anambra State Government and an explicit order, that all Anambra State natives in Lagos State pay their taxes to Anambra State government.
This will enable Anambra State government to cater for Nigerians deported to its area of authority and serve as a deterrent to all States governments of the Federation.”
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