There are plans underway by the Lagos State House of Assembly to make – promulgation that will potentially undermine land and property ownership by non-indigenes, especially Igbos in the state, following a declaration by its speaker Mudashiru Obasa to “reverse all the reversible.”
Enterprising and industrious, the Igbos, originally from South-East Nigeria, were targets of several vicious verbal and physical attacks by Yoruba politicians and their acolytes. In the last presidential and governorship elections, many Igbos had thrown their weight behind the Labour Party and its poster boy and presidential candidate, Peter Obi. They were blamed for APC and then-candidate Bola Tinubu’s loss in Lagos on February 25.
“Lagos is a Yoruba land as against the assertions of some people that it is a no man’s land,” Mr Obasa declared. “Therefore, part of our legislative agenda is to ensure the translation of laws passed by this House to the Yoruba language.”
Mr Obasa, a longtime ally of Mr Tinubu and a staunch member of the establishment, stated this on Tuesday, in his acceptance speech as a third-term speaker of the Lagos parliament and the inauguration of the 10th Lagos assembly, revealed plans by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to pass new land and property laws would favour only indigenes.
The Lagos speaker revealed the plot of the APC-controlled state parliament to use “all legislative instruments” to favour indigenes against other tribes.
“We also aim at achieving our collective goals of creating a robust legislative framework that protects the interest of our people. Going forward in this wise, we are going to employ all legislative instruments for the support of the indigenes of Lagos,” the speaker of the Lagos parliament declared.
Mr Obasa further asserted, “There would be laws and resolutions in the areas of economy and commerce, property and titles, and we will reverse all that is reversible to protect the interest of the indigenes.”
The 2023 presidential and gubernatorial polls had pitched Igbos against Yoruba politicians in the APC and their hordes against Igbos and Labour Party. The latter’s governorship candidate Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour was singled out and de-marketed for having Igbo ancestry.
In the aftermath of the March 18 guber poll, the United States issued a statement condemning APC-led suppression of Igbo voters in Lagos and announced fresh visa bans on culprits. Just days before the governorship poll, a notorious Lagos thug, Musiliu ‘MC Oluomo’ Akinsanya, threatened Igbos who would not vote for APC to stay home.
After suffering a severe scare in the Lagos governorship race (APC victory is contested at the tribunal), Bayo Onanuga, another APC linchpin, pushed an outright exclusion of Nigerians of Igbo extraction from the Lagos political power, marking an escalation of ethnic controversies that enveloped the poll.
A few months after the election, Nigeria’s then-works and housing minister, Babatunde Fashola, said he saw no problems with the ethnic strain that marred the elections in Lagos, claiming that identity politics is now a global trend.