In an effort to quell the election crisis in Ojota area of Lagos, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Lagos and Ogun, AIG David Folawiyo and the new Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Mu’azu Zubairu, have engaged community leaders, the Osolo of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Adelaja Agbabiaka and Eze Ndigbo and Chairman Council of Ndieze Lagos State, Eze Christian, Uchechukwu Nwachukwu and other community leaders in peace talk.
Zubairu while speaking at the palace of Osolo of Isolo on Monday evening said, what happened on Saturday was a matter of concern for everybody, including the security agencies, the Oba and the residents.
According to him, everybody was aware of the issues in the area but not aware of the true facts. He said he was in the area on Saturday with the AIG and without knowing that what happened in Okota, the election was wonderful.
“They said three people were killed and nobody had seen one corpse anywhere in this area. The gentleman who was attacked was immediately rescued, rushed to the hospital and he is getting better in the hospital. But you can see the negative news being sprayed about this area which is not good for everybody.
“If there are issues of elections in Nigeria, it should not be in Lagos and if there is any problem of elections in Lagos, why should it be in Okota where you have peace-loving Nigerians living together?
“This is why the AIG and myself have come here to reemphasise the peaceful co-existence which I believe has been happening in this kingdom for so many years. This kingdom is not known for any violence or crisis. It is known for living together in peace; why is this area trying to get a new name now? A place of crisis and chaos?
The CP said he believed the meeting was going to cement the relationship between the communities in the area.
“It is going to tell our followers that we are all one, and that what we need is peace. On our own side as a security agency, we are going to tell the people that we are here for everybody. We assure them that we are going to give the necessary safe and secure environment for the remaining elections.”
He urged the leaders to allow people vote candidates of their choice. “Party A or B doesn’t matter because that is what is bringing the problem. That it must be a particular party must be erased from our minds. Let us focus on good leadership. Nobody must be compelled to choose a party or candidate of any party.”
Earlier, AIG Folawiyo had said they were lucky to have the community leaders in attendance at the meeting. He urged them to shun violence in the area, adding that the police do not have problems with the community leaders but need their assistance.
“We want them to assume leadership and let the people know that we are working for them. They should lower their guards, enjoy the grace, go and vote with discipline. We have also assured them of additional security. I think we are expecting good outing in the next round of election,” Folawiyo said.
Eze Nwachukwu said, the meeting with the oba was very necessary and was about what happened during the last election.
According to Nwachukwu, there was a disagreement and the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba communities were ready to sort it out and agree among themselves that if such should happen, they should report to the police or the oba.
“What happened was that some hoodlums high jacked some polling units and suddenly somebody did not go to the police nor the oba and went ahead and took the laws into his hand. And nearly take someone’s life. Nobody died but there were some injuries.
“We have agreed that everyone should go home and talk to their people so that peace can reign. We have talked about peace for the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba communities. We have agreed to be meeting from time to time to discuss our common problem for the interest of everyone.”
Oba Agbabiaka urged the Igbo leaders to always report any issues or disagreements to the police if they cannot come to him.
“Anytime you have any problem or any grudge with any people, you should please if you cannot come to me, call the police. You cannot take the laws into your hand or give judgement by yourself.
“Ndigbo, you see sometimes, it is good to show signs of appreciation. Majority of you know me, either you had your property through us or through the government.
“All you should know is that you are within Isolo and there is nothing that I do that I don’t carry you along. And that is what brought the idea of handing about four or five of you chieftaincy tittles.
“Also, the government means well for you. Luckily, in the last election, the House of Representatives winner in this area is your man, an Igbo, and the House of Assembly representative is also your man, two councillors are from you and also one supervising councillor.”
The oba said there was nowhere in Lagos State the Igbo could see such gesture, adding that the government of Lagos State was trying to look after them and therefore them to be grateful.
“Anywhere you are living, where you have your property, you are living better and your business is growing well, you should also try to make sure that there is peace and harmony. Nobody is ready to fight you; you are not a trouble maker, neither the Hausa, Yoruba or the OPC or any other person.”
The Oba also dispelled the rumours of death in his area, urging the Igbo community to support him and the police in making sure there is peace and security in the area.
“We need your support and you people should also know that you need our support too. Except you are telling us that your people who have been representing us in the House of Assembly, we have been making the mistake of allowing them to sit in that position.”
Others who were present at the meeting included Lagos House of Assembly member representing Oshodi/Isolo constituency II and the Chairman, Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Shamsudeen, Abiodun Olaleye among others