In an open letter to the Nigerian Federal Government and Lagos State Governor Sanwo-Olu, Igbo leaders based in the United Kingdom and Ireland – led by Eze Okwuchukwu Nwosu – have issued a public plea for equitable treatment for Igbo residents in Lagos. This appeal stems from a history of perceived injustices that the Igbo community has been subjected to since the unification of Nigeria in 1914. The letter alleges that Igbos have consistently been marginalized, with recent property demolitions in Lagos serving as a stark reminder of this marginalization.
Unjust Demolitions and Historical Injustices
Eze Nwosu's letter shines a spotlight on the recent demolitions of Igbo-owned properties in areas such as Ladipo, Balogun, Alaba, and the Trade Fair in Lagos. He describes these actions as unjust and oppressive, noting a departure from the practices of past administrations. The letter also brings attention to the historical injustices faced by the Igbo community since Nigeria's amalgamation more than a century ago.
Political Disappointment and a Cry for Equity
The letter further touches on the disappointment following the failure of political parties to honor the rotational presidency agreement, which was expected to open the door to an Igbo presidency. The emergence of Peter Obi in the 2023 general elections brought hope to the Igbo community, but Eze Nwosu alleges that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) compromised the electoral process, hindering the effective counting of votes.
Demand for Integration or Peaceful Separation
The open letter demands either the integration of the Igbo community into Nigeria's decision-making processes or peaceful separation. It calls for the Federal Government to appraise and compensate for the destroyed Igbo properties in Lagos. Without fair treatment, Eze Nwosu suggests that the Igbo community may have to resort to self-defense. The letter ends with a reminder of the heavy losses suffered during the Nigerian Civil War, urging a resolution that acknowledges the Igbo's contributions and investments across Nigeria.