"The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction."
The Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ignore the rumour that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are plotting to attack Lagos.
The President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, George Obiozor, made the call during a courtesy visit to Governor Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina, on Thursday.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had during a Security Townhall Meeting at the Lagos State secretariat, said there were plans by some groups, which include IPOB, to attack 'soft spots' in the state.
IPOB immediately denied the claim.
Several Yoruba groups have also criticised Mr Odumosu for making the claim.
The town hall meeting was attended by the governor, and other principal officials in Lagos State.
Mr Obiozor said the threat was a ploy to distract the state governor and his administration from providing good governance for all residents of the state.
He said the rumour or statement was aimed to cause division, crises and conflict among the people.
Mr Obiozor's address was entitled, "Violence in any part of Lagos State is violence on all of us".
The president general said that Ndigbo could not indulge in any act that would harm the harmonious peace and cordial relationship between Igbo and Yoruba, especially Lagos, a second home of several Ndigbo.
He said the Igbo nation was renowned for being agents of development and not destruction.
"Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in the company of Igbo Elders and Leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live.
"The constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumour, gossips and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land contemplate to instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land is not true.
"We wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumour or statement is emanating from is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.
"The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the South West was a source of relief," Mr Obiozor said.
The leader of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation also commended Mr Sanwo-Olu for the exemplary leadership he exhibited at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged Nigeria, especially in Lagos State.
According to him, the governor deserves commendation for controlling and restricting the spread of coronavirus with his quick response.
Mr Obiozor also reiterated Ohanaeze Ndigbo's total support for Lagos State Government and the security agencies' patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in the state and throughout the country.
"I am aware that the government and good people of Lagos State under your able leadership, and through their hospitable gestures, have continually kept the trust and friendship between Ndigbo and our host communities in Lagos State alive.
"Ohanaeze Ndigbo through this medium reiterates total support to the state government and the security agencies in their patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in Lagos and throughout the country.
"The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders and their contributions to the development of Lagos State are evident and exemplary," he said.
Responding, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership of continuous good governance, security of lives and property of all residents in Lagos State.
The governor said he had no doubt that the Ndigbo were great people, and his administration would continue to foster harmonious relationships with all the different tribes and ethnic nationalities in the state.
The courtesy visit was at the instance of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, to clear the air on the rumoured attacks on Lagos by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). (NAN)