By Abiodun Adebayo
The Osolo of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Alani Agbabiaka, has urged residents in his domain to disregard a broadcast by one Adeyinka Grandson threatening Igbos to leave Lagos.
He called on ethnic and religious groups in Isolo to eschew crisis and work towards sustaining the existing peaceful coexistence in the community.
Oba Agbabiaka is the secretary of the Lagos State Council of Obas.
Admonishing them at a stakeholder’s meeting in his palace, the monarch appealed to them to avoid actions that may trigger clashes in the aftermath of the EndSARS protest.
He discouraged them from obeying any call by anybody which could affect the peace being enjoyed by the residents.
He explained that there have been mutually beneficial and progressive relationships between the Yorubas, Igbos and other tribes in Isolo Community and southwest.
He said: “For more than 40 years, we’ve never had any ethnic problem in Isolo. The person that made that announcement is not known to us, he may be a Yoruba but we don’t know him. He is not a community leader, he is not an Oba, he is nothing so he cannot speak for us.
“Beyond that, here in Isolo, we are peace lovers and I want everybody to know that there are Yoruba, the Kanuris, the Nupes, Hausas, Igbos, South-South here. Isolo is a typical example of a cosmopolitan community and we love ourselves. We work together and talk together on how Isolo can be better.
“Please, I want you to go back home and tell your people that they shouldn’t fear. No doubt, we are in support of the peaceful protest against SARS excesses and police brutality but, we strongly condemn the barbaric act it has degenerated into and the government too can testify to it that such destruction didn’t happen in our community.”
The Chairman Of the Igbo Speaking Stakeholder’s Forum in Isolo, Prince Nixon Okwara, who facilitated the meeting, explained that the meeting was necessary for community leaders to collectively deliberate on the unfounded, provocative and inciting broadcast messages that had been widely circulated on social platforms attributing the unfortunate destruction across the state to ethnic attack and calling for the evacuation of the Igbos from the Southwest region.
He also said that Nnamdi Kanu’s reported messages be totally ignored, saying the recent unrest had nothing to do with ethnic attack on the southwest region.
He therefore reiterated that the Igbos would continue to contribute their quota to the progress and development of Isolo.
“Why all of us lent our voices to the support of the peaceful protest of EndSARS was because we understood the fact that almost every average Nigerian is deprived their rights. The police are deprived, the masses are deprived, even the Oba is deprived because by the special grace of God with the level and quality of work he does, he is supposed to live far better than this; the Serikis, all of us are victims of deprivation and that was why you see some analysts in their prediction listed Nigeria as one of the flashpoints of Post-Covid-19 violence. So, people should not start tracing it to any ethnicity. We should rise above that.
“We are living in an age where the social media transfer messages within seconds, meaning that the world is a global village. What is important is that all of us should take responsibility for what we share, what we discuss on social media and know that we can be vendors of violence ignorantly,” he said.
The leader of one of indigenous organisations, Orisun Isolo, Prince Kazeem Farombi, who regretted the burning of Ilasa police station, said the residents of Isolo tried to prevent the hoodlums from destroying properties and lives in the community during the crisis, attributing the feat to the exemplary leadership of the monarch.
He commended the youths for protecting the community’s heritage by coming together to repeatedly repel the hoodlums who made series of attempt to destroy the council secretariat and other public infrastructures in the community.