Igbo are the pioneers, heroes of modern Lagos State

Igbo are the pioneers, heroes of modern Lagos State Igbo are the pioneers, heroes of modern Lagos State

The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has said that Igbo forebears are “the pioneers” and “heroes” of modern Lagos State.

Iwuanyanwu spoke in a press briefing video that has gone viral, against the backdrop of comments by the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, in relation to the origin of the state, which has generated controversies.


The Oba said that Lagos State was founded by the Binis.

However, commenting on the role of the South East in the development of Lagos, Iwuanyanwu said Igbo forebearers made parts of the state habitable, adding that when Lagos was made the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, the Igbo rose to the challenge of investing to make the state befitting and habitable.


His words, “Igbo have been part of this country for a very long time. When Lagos became the federal capital, the development of such territory was a challenge in all countries.

“The Igbo forebearers, most of whom are dead today, rose to the challenge of that time. The challenge of that time was investment to make Lagos befitting as the federal capital territory. That is how the Igbo moved to Lagos a sense of patriotism.


“Igbo converted swampy lands to habitable places. They built businesses, homes, and schools, and developed Lagos. These pioneers, our forebearers are the heroes of the time, the heroes of what we call today a very strong Lagos.

“The Igbo in Lagos are highly respected citizens. Respected Yoruba and Igbo built very solid relationships with each other. Igbo are the great shareholders if Nigeria is a corporate body.”

Iwuanyanwu, however, said that it would be difficult for the socio-cultural organisation to defend any of its kinsmen who flout Lagos construction laws, pointing out that he was yet to get the facts about the ongoing demolition exercise in the state, but he learnt that all demolished houses were found guilty of contravening the land acquisition laws.

“On the demolition of houses of Igbo, I have not got the fact, but the information I have from the government is that some of the houses are built on roads and drainage lines.

“We have to obey the laws of the land. Wherever we are, if you want to build a house, buy and register the land properly. Apply for approval from the government agency. Then you can be rest assured that Ohanaeze will defend you.

“But if you go on to build on drainage lines, and roads, you failed to abide by the law of the land and did not get approvals, it will be difficult to support you in any way,” he added.

Report by Chibuike Ezekwesili

Date: November 26, 2023
Published by Ugwu Okechukwu (Obinwannem ndi Igbo)

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