The deportation of Ndigbo from Gov. Babatunde Fashola’s Lagos State has
generated a lot of comments and is still generating more, with the
ex-Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, threatening to go to court
with Fashola, if the later refuses to rescind the unwholesome action.
But Fashola has been spitting fire of not withdrawing his government’s
noncompliant decision. But, apparently, saying that those who were deported
were destitutes, who couldn’t be rehabilitated with the Lagos State funds.
This rambling temperament of the Lagos State Government has been seen as a
remark showcasing that the action Fashola took, was a premeditated plan to
intimidate Ndigbo in Lagos. Lagos, a place many Yorubas in the recent times
see and also say, without hiding their clannish voices, was becoming more
Igbo than Yoruba.
Many of the Yoruba who think in that line of action don’t, or refused to
remember that the Ladipo Auto Spare Parts Market, Mushin, Lagos, which is
the bone of contention among the Fasholas of Lagos State nowadays, was more
or less a marshland in 1987. Its developers were Igbo-traders, who were
displaced at Tejuosho Market, by Yorubas taskforce. Goods worth millions of
naira owned by Ndigbo, were burnt. (Including an uncle’s 10 bales of
The annoying side of the story, according to Kalu is that, the people who
see Lagos as a place not worth dwelling by Ndigbo in-the-present-day, by
using the word destitute, as an excuse for deporting Ndigbo in their own
country, did not counterbalance their action with the suffering of Ndigbo,
in making sure that the Lagos known to be illuminating, was built.
Dr. Kalu has not stopped wondering why people should be identified by their
states of origin before they could live in Lagos or elsewhere. Kalu did not
want to say that if that was the case, it would be good states that produce
crude oil in the country begin to tell the Federal Government that the oil
in their states are owned by them and that they have 100% right to man its
It is whispered that where such testimonies of deportation or
indiscriminate arrest of migrants are heard, were overseas, not in their
home countries. Kalu says that he is yet to believe that such is happening
today in Lagos. He regrets comments from certain quarters that an interim
Lagos State infamous group called Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), runs
amok in arresting and detaining people in the state, of which versions have
fingered that the many people who were being arrested, are mainly Igbo
people. Kalu wonders what discipline Fashola swaggers that he wants to
maintain in Lagos, when he is yet to keep to the Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, which grants citizens freedom of association
and a place of abode.
Following explanations by many of the deportees, Kalu categorically have
said that he is yet to believe that Fashola is anti-Igbo, because some of
the victims were neither street beggars, urchins, hawkers or people with
questionable characters, but sane and worthy Igbo sons and daughters who
were going about their genuine businesses before the notorious KAI bounced
on them and singlehandedly christened them beggars, street urchins and what
not, in a bid to attract world’s acclamation.
Many of the deported were Igbo workers and traders, who were obnoxiously
arrested by KAI, as of last year and early this year, but were recently
deported to Onitsha in Anambra State. Kalu says that many of these Igbo
persons were not even from Anambra State, but persons from other Igbo
states. He, nevertheless, wonders why Fashola should allow the KAI
officials and some policemen to engage into this anti-civilisation habit.
It has become palpable that Lagos State would soon become one of the
dangerous areas for any sane person to travel to, owing to the inhumane
acts that Fashola has meted out against Ndigbo, if this ugly scenario is
not checkmated very fast from further escalation.
In-spite-of this, Kalu has said that it might not be the entire Lagos
State, but a place like Alausa area of the state, where investigations have
revealed that people are prone to arrest by the KAI officials, who are
aided by the police in their employ. He has wondered why even persons
waiting for bus or standing and discussing would be arrested and dragged
into a waiting vehicle and taken to a prison at Alausa or to Ikorodu, close
to Ijebu-Ode, by the tarnished KAI.
Kalu questions where the Fashola’s discipline he has claimed to maintain in
Lagos is, by this hindering act. Conversely, not sounding dichotomous, Kalu
has expressed his concern that Ndigbo should see the need of developing
their area henceforth. He also has cautioned Fashola to repeal his action
and should not impose a Yoruba person on Ladipo Auto Spare Parts Market; a
market that its stalls are owned by 85% Igbo traders. Kalu says that he
wonders if Fashola will give a nod, assuming an Easterner is imposed on any
of the Yoruba-dominated mosques that dot the region.