Lagos Speaker Warned Against Move to Destroy Igbo Businesses with Obnoxious Legislation

Musashiru Obasa, Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Mudashiru Obasa has been slammed for embarking on a dangerous path to further widen Nigeria’s fault lines through his unguarded threats against non-indigenes residing in Lagos.

A renowned infrastructural development consultant, Rev Benson Ezem threw the darts at the Lagos Speaker in reaction to his “discriminatory and hate-filled” outbursts against Ndigbo.

Obasa had in his acceptance speech after he emerged Speaker of Lagos House for the third consecutive time, announced that this time around the legislature under his leadership was going to enact laws “to safeguard its Indigenes”

He went further to signal his intention to cause massive revocation of land documents saying, “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”.

But Rev Ezem, in a phone chat with our correspondent, faulted the Lagos Speaker’s idea of protecting the interest of Lagos Indigenes, noting that Obasa’s veiled political message and his target was not lost on anybody with discerning and analytical mind.

He said: “It is unfortunate and baffling that a prominent political leader like Obasa would be in Lagos fanning the embers of hatred, discrimination and disunity at a time when President Bola Tinubu is facing an onerous task to unite a fractious country handed over to him.

“If Obasa and his colleagues in the Lagos Assembly think that because a Yoruba man is the president of Nigeria they can make life unbearable for Ndigbo in Lagos, they should have a rethink.

He said that Obasa’s vituperations were no doubt targeted at Igbo businessmen and investors in Lagos “who have been turned to political punching bags for daring to hold different political views in a supposedly democratic environment “.

“Hon Obasa should refrain from taking any action whether through misguided legislation or any other instrument to harm Ndigbo or destroy their businesses and investments or disposses them of their properties in Lagos,” Ezem said.

He warned of “negative repercussions” that discriminatory and hate-driven laws could cause when implementated against the perceived targets, adding that it could be akin to somebody cutting his nose to spite his face.

The infrastructural development consultant urged Obasa to learn from Uganda how its economy was destroyed after the then strong man, Idi Amin expelled Indians and Jews that controlled the country’s economy, and confisticated their properties.

He further advised Obasa and his co-travellers to learn from the experience of Zimbabwe which went hungry and contended with total economic collapse when President Robert Mugabe seized lands from white farmers and ended up harming his country.

Ezem said that it was high time political leaders stopped overt and covert victimisation of Ndigbo ostensibly for expressing their political opinions and views in places where they reside as citizens of Nigeria and do their legitimate businesses.

“Enough is enough,” he said.