By Sylvanus Okpe
Spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos State chapter and a Commissioner-designate, Joe Igbokwe, has denied being a member of any ethnic group, preferring to describe himself as a Nigerian.
Igbokwe, made the statement, on Thursday, when he appeared for screening as a member of the last batch of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet nominees at the Lagos state House of Assembly.
The APC publicity scribe described some Nigerians as ethnic bigots insisting that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, was the reason for the overwhelming support easterners gave to the PDP and its governorship candidate, Mr Jimi Agbaje in the state during last general election.
Mr Igbokwe further canvassed that Lagos should take the lead and be more open to other ethnic groups by giving them political appointments.
In his words, “I’m proudly Nigerian; I don’t know about east, west, north or south. I have been in Lagos since 1985. My children were born here. It’s high time we started building this country.
“I get angry when people mention ethnicity. A young Nigerian lady was just made a minister in Britain. If I become the president of this country, nobody is going to fill a form and put his state of origin. That’s the first thing I will do. It is when you take people for who they are that is when they will release their energy for the good of the country. One day, Nigerians will say, we are all Nigerians.
“The reason for the attitude of easterners in Lagos at the last election was because Peter Obi was on the ballot. If Atiku had won, he would be the vice president.
“If 70 to 75 per cent of particular people dominate a region, they should be encouraged. If they don’t get council chairman, at least make them deputy. What Igbo people have in Lagos, they don’t have a quarter of it in their land. If you see anybody that is doing well in the South East, he must have a thriving business in Lagos”.