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Igbo Leadership Tussle: “How I Became The Authentic Leader Of Igbo In Lagos Ahead Of Joe Igbokwe”, Says Jude Idimogu


As the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Mr. Joe Igbokwe is laying claim to be the leader of the Igbos in the state, a lawmaker in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Jude Idimogu has said that he is the authentic leader of the Igbos in the state.

Idimogu, representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency 2 in the Assembly, said in an interview that he was appointed as the Apex Leader of the Igbos in the state by the 35 Ezes ( Igbo royal fathers) and other South East leaders in the state.

“Nobody has given Mr. Joe Igbokwe the title of the Apex Leader of the Igbos in Lagos State. He only assumed that he is occupying that position because he has been in Lagos State government for sometime.

“But the Igbo people in the state have never gathered to call him their leader. That is why I am telling him that if he has any record to prove that he is the leader of the Igbos in the state he should let me see it.

“But, in my own case, I was given the position of the Apex Leader of the Igbos by the Ndi Ezes and the community leaders of Igbo extraction in Lagos State. They even gave me a certificate to back it up. The Ezes are the royal fathers of the Igbos in the state and they are our community leaders,” he said.

Idimogu, who said that he was installed as the Igbo Apex Leader in the state on May 14th, 2020, revealed that he had rejected the appointment on several occasions beginning from 2015 and that even when he won under the All Progressives Congress (APC), they came to him again and that he also rejected it.

The lawmaker stated that they gave him a letter to back up his appointment, and that he rejected the position as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) then.

“I told them then that I would rather join the Vision Group of Joe Igbokwe and I joined them. Then we had G-17, who were leaders of the Igbos then.

“But sincerely, what they were doing in G-17 was something that was not okay.

“Don’t forget that I contested election in 2019 and I knew how Igbos were behaving towards the APC. The APC gave me ticket for the Lagos State House of Assembly, but the PDP did not give any Igbo man ticket at the House of Assembly level.

“Why are my brothers, the Igbos keep voting for a party that they don’t even know their candidates? It is annoying, something must be wrong.

“The little time I stayed with Joe Igbokwe and his group, I knew that something was wrong, they were doing things the way they like. Igbokwe took decisions without minding that I was there,” he said.

Idimogu said further that the APC gave the Igbos two vehicles during the 2019 general elections and alleged that Igbokwe didn’t bother to consult him before he gave out the vehicles to those he liked.

“I said “is that the way things are done.” I told him that at the meeting, you can ask him. I am not afraid of him, I only respect him as an elder and someone who has been in the party before me.

“But when I believed that what he was doing was not right for my party and my Igbo brothers, I had to leave his group.

“We later said let us harmonise the groups instead of having different groups. Igbokwe had a group called; “Vision Group. Suddenly, he just formed a committee without telling us and he made the Eze of Ikeja the leader.

“We then asked him that why couldn’t we form a committee together since it is about the party and that it should not be personal.

“I called him that what he was doing was wrong and that the meeting we were having in the house of that Eze was wrong, he was not even the leader.

“I said that if the meeting is held in the house of Igbokwe it was better than the Eze’s house and the funniest thing is that the man would send anyone who says what he did not want to hear out of his house.

“I said I would not go there for meeting again and that if he could not hold the meeting in his house, he should look for a neutral place,” he said.

The politician alleged that he once called Igbokwe to ask him if he was interested in any position, and that he said no, adding that he believed that someone didn’t need to just sit down and watch when things were being divided.

He however said that he changed his mind along the line and wondered why he should continue to follow the people, when they were doing a lot of things without considering him and that it was as if he was forcing himself on them.

According to him, “something led to another, I never planned it. My Eze, the Chairman of Council of Ezes in Lagos State, Dr. Christian Uchechukwu Nwachukwu and I went to see the President of Ohaneze, Solomon at the secretariat and they said that they were looking for someone that would be the Apex Leader of the Igbos in Lagos State and they mentioned my name.

“That was how the issue came up, and the next day the Ezes came and they all supported me.”

When asked if Joe Igbokwe did not recognise his leadership position, he said that it was a case of someone who did not want any Igbo man to be greater than him.

Joe Igbokwe

“He wants to be everything, he does not want anyone to be above him. I even called him three times he refused to pick my calls. I told him that “oga, this way you are going, let us sit down and iron it out, but he refused to listen to me, and already my people had given me the mandate.

“It is the Igbo people in Lagos State that gave me the position and I must defend it. I vowed that I will work for my party and the Igbo people in Lagos State,” he said.

While declaring that Lagos State is a no go area for the PDP, Idimogu, said that they have been moving to all the local governments in the state and appealing tonthe Igbos to see the APC as their party.

“The Igbos are doing well in Lagos State, there is no crisis, there is peace. Have you seen where they drive the Igbos away from Lagos State, it is our home.

“Why is it that the Igbos are not seeing the APC as their own in Lagos State, why upon all at that they are doing for us.

“I am a stakeholder and we must change the situation in Lagos State and ensure that our people support the APC.

“We have been going round the local governments and the Igbos are moving with me. They reason with me, Lagos State is a no go area for the PDP.

“The PDP has had their time in Nigeria, it is now the time of the APC,” he said and vowed to ensure the success of the party in all the elections in the state.

Tunde Ogunmola
Tunde Ogunmola
'Tunde Ogunmola Executive Editor/CEO (OBAT CONNECTS CONCEPTS) Publishers of Naija News Direct) Tel: 08055102893, 08126439182 (WhatsApp)

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