Wednesday, 6 April 2016

1st anniversary of oba or king of Lagos’s proclamation to murder Igbo in Lagos, Nigeria

(Rilwan Akiolu)
(Commentary published soon after news of Akiolu’s Igbo murder-proclamation became public, 6 April 2015)

Rilwan Akiolu, the oba or king of Lagos, Nigeria, has issued a proclamation to murder Igbo people domiciled in Lagos if they, the Igbo, do not vote for the king’s “preferred candidate” in the forthcoming Lagos region governor’s election. The king’s proclamation is published widely in the Nigeria media including (New York), Premium Times (Lagos) and Vanguard (Lagos). According to (6 April 2015), the “Oba of Lagos threatened Igbo during a meeting in his palace in downtown Lagos. The traditional king of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, told representatives of the Igbo during the meeting that if they refuse to vote for his preferred candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode of the All Progressive Congress [the party the overwhelming majority of the Igbo electorate voted against in the Saturday 28 March 2015 ‘poll’ for ‘president’ in Nigeria:] they will die in the Lagos lagoon in 7 days”.’s report, on its website, includes an audio clip of Akiolu’s murder threats with haunting “cheers” and chants by courtiers in Yoruba: kabiyesikabiyesi – “the unquestionable one”, “the unquestionable one”…

Outrage, clinical precision, no agency

Akiolu is a lawyer and was an assistant chief of the Nigeria police before his accession to the Lagos throne in 2003. He is respected if not revered by his subjects. The world can and must stop Akiolu from carrying through his proclamation. Akiolu’s proclamation is a grim alert to the world, just coming a few days after islamist insurgents operating in a university college in Kenya murdered 147 African christian students, initially separated from their muslim counterparts. The world’s heads of state, heads of government, the United Nations, statespersons, non-state/civil organisations, scholars, students, men and women of freedom and goodwill should today, now, register their unqualified outrage in response to this call by the Lagos hereditary monarch to murder the Igbo, based on the latter’s exercise of their choice in a seemingly democratic contest. Phone calls of protest should be made or emails sent at once to one’s nearest Nigeria consulate/embassy.

Millions of Igbo live in Lagos. Igbo experience in Nigeria since the 1945 Igbo pogrom in Jos (central region) has been that calls for the “murder of Igbo” by officials (religious, monarchial, other state operatives) have usually been carried out with almost clinical precision in orchestrated mass actions. Akiolu’s reference to the Lagos lagoon is therefore ominous because this is the bight where hundreds of Igbo slaughtered during phase-I of the Igbo genocide, especially after 29 July 1966, were dumped by their assailants.

Pointedly, Akiolu’s murder-proclamation comes in the wake of the expulsions of Igbo citizens from Lagos in recent years by Raji Fashola, the region’s governor, another lawyer, indeed a senior advocate of the Nigerian bar. As I indicated during the last expulsion, the Igbo must leave Lagos and relocate to Biafra. No agency in Lagos nor in the wider Nigeria virulent political space can or is willing to safeguard Igbo security and wellbeing: (
(Herbie Hancock Quintet, “Little one” [personnel: Hancock, piano; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; George Coleman, tenor saxophone; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewoods Cliffs, NJ, US, 17 March 1965])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

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