Long sought peace and tranquility among monarchs of Igbo extraction in Lagos finally returned on Tuesday, September 8, when apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo brokered peace to re-unite warring camps headed by Eze Ndigbo of Lagos, Eze (Dr) Christian Uchechukwu Nwachukwu on one hand and Eze Uche Dimgba, Eze Ndigbo of Ikeja on the other. CYRIACUS NNAJY reports.
The reconciliation meeting called at the instance of Lagos State Government and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos Chapter which took place at Calabar Hall, Surulere was attended by crème de la crème of Igbos in Lagos with the ultimate objective of resolving years of animosity and misunderstanding between two opposing groups of traditional rulers of Ndigbo in Lagos
This obviously intractable misunderstanding portrayed the Igbo tribe in bad light especially before their hosts. It also made it impossible for the people to speak with one voice and ultimately sidelined them from government and dividend of democracy if there was any.
Not oblivious of the fact that the Igbos are the second largest ethnic stock in Lagos State with investment that amount to trillions of Naira, the Igbos have played third fiddle or even no fiddle at all due to the squabbles.
No wonder the Solomon Ogbonna led Ohanaeze Ndigbo worried by the discordant voices among the Diaspora traditional rulers rose to the occasion by insisting on peace between Eze Nwachukwu and Eze Dimgba heads of the two opposing camps.
In the end it was agreed that an ad hoc committee made of Eze Christian Nwachukwu, Eze Dimgba, Jude Idimogu, Joe Igbokwe and Chief Solomon Ogbonna, should be formed to iron out gray issues that are critical to the peace accord.
At the end of the negotiations and agreements, the two rulers volunteered to embrace themselves as mark of genuine and true reconciliation.
Chief Solomon Ogbonna, President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos said that what is needed is peace and the peace has come. He maintained that any person who fails to abide by the peace accord will be held in scorn and treated as a hater of peace.
He stressed the need for men to have good women as their wives because they are initiators of peace in their homes. He added that men that have such wives bring peace in their communities.
Speaking to Journalists Eze (Dr) Christian Nwachukwu stated that an agreement has been reached for Igbos in Lagos to be united.
“We have an issue, political issue, before, now we made our position known, and all Igbos resolved that we should go for dialogue, and we have dialoged, and in the act of dialogue we resolved that all of us must work together and come together in making sure that Ndigbo are united,” Nwachukwu stated.
While speaking on the way forward for Igbos in Lagos State, the revered monarch said “The way forward for Ndigbo is that we should work together, we have agreed on the unity of Ndigbo in Lagos State and all Ndi Ezes are one, Igbo community are one, and all of us are going to team together to resolve other issues that concern Local Governments, ward level, and et cetera.”
Nwachukwu also spoke on the role played by the President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Lagos, Chief Soloman Ogbonna in reconciling his camp and that of Eze Uche Dimgba, Eze Ndigbo of Ikeja, he said “That is what should be his primary role to do, in bringing us, Igbo together for unity, and for things in the front, because as you know, Ndigbo is the second largest ethnic community in Lagos State and as such we have agreed on the supremacy of Igbo leadership, so unity must reign.”
Eze Nwachukwu said Igbos must not be behind due to internal squabbles and therefore they have agreed to put disagreements behind them in order to move forward.
He declared that peace has come. “There are things we have been doing, we continue doing them to mobilize our community in local governments and ward level for the interest of 2023 election for the party, APC.”
Also peaking at the occasion was the Honourable member representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency 02 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Jude Chukwuemeka Idimogu, he revealed that Igbo traditional rulers are indispensable ally in the game of politics in Lagos State.
He said “Our Ezes are very key people in this game of politics in Lagos State and when we talk about our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC) we need them, there should be no segregation.”
Speaking on the critical issue of reconciliation and way forward for Ndigbo in Lagos State, Idimogu said “Dialogue is a continuous thing, it is not an issue we finish today but for today, a lot has been achieved; peace has been achieved over 70 to 80 per cent, so the little that is remaining is just for us to sit down together and talk about it which is not too important but somehow important to a lot of people, politically and otherwise, but my happiness is that we have reconciled our Ezes.”
He insisted that peace is paramount in every human endeavour “There is nothing like peace, peace and tranquility, peace of mind and besides, people always say the Igbos are difficult, we are not difficult, though we are principled people, but we thank God that nothing is as good as peace. Whatever the grievances are, we don’t want to be recounting them, let by-gone be by-gone. Our yesterday has gone, our today is here but our tomorrow will be better, may God spare our lives.
Idimogu thanked Eze (Dr) Christian Nwachukwu (Igbo 1) Eze Ndigbo of Lagos and Eze Dimgba, Eze Ndigbo of Ikeja. He also appreciated the efforts of President of Ohanaeze, Lagos, Chief Solomon Ogbonna, and Special Adviser to Lagos Governor on Drainages, Joe Igbokwe, his humble self and every Eze, Igbo man and woman that made time to grace the epoch-making event. “Today will enter in the book of history as one special day Igbo people came together and find a better solution for their moving forward in Lagos. For me I am happy and I thank God,” Idimogu said.
He expressed gratitude to the government of Lagos State for facilitating the reconciliation meeting “I thank the Party Chairman, Hon. Tunde Balogun, because the very first day he reconciled me and Joe Igbokwe, I told him one thing, that this reconciliation will not be full until the Ezes are brought together especially Eze Nwachukwu camp and Eze Uche Dimgba (Okpotemba) camp, and I thank God today it has happened. So those things are great achievements. I want to thank the Lagos State Government, the party, governor, deputy governor and the chief of Staff for all their efforts.
“I also thank my own Hon. Speaker, Rt Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, he is my leader, he defends me when the need arises, I will continue to be loyal to him and loyal to this party by the grace of God,’ Idimogu said.
Joe Igbokwe the Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Drainages commended all those that attended the meeting. He told Ndigbo that he will work for them. He urged Ndigbo to be philanthropic, and always ready to assist their people.
Igbokwe saluted the courage of Eze Nwachukwu and Eze Uche Dimgba for embracing peace, adding that the battle is over. Quoting the Bible he said lets reason together. He said Igbo presence in Lagos is not just huge but also impactful.
Tony Nwakeze while thanking the two gladiators promised to provide one cow on the day reconciliation party and pleaded that whosoever was injured should forgive for the interest of the Igbos in Lagos State.