Proposed Lagos Igbo hangout sparks fresh war between Yorubas and Igbos

The announcement of a proposed Igbo cultural hangout in Lagos has sparked renewed tensions between the Yoruba and Igbo communities.

There has always been tension between Yorubas concentrated in the southwestern part of Nigeria and the Igbos primarily occupying the southeastern part of the country from the first republic. It was said that every time one group gets a major slot, the other has to settle for less. 

Lagos, the country’s former capital and current undisputed economic hub, is observed to have been the imaginary battleground for the rivalry between the two groups – whenever the tension rises, Lagos usually feels the heat.

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It was said that the rivalry between these two groups started in the 1920s and 1930s when Igbos started settling in Lagos and growing in numbers that the battle graduated from intra-ethnic to inter-ethnic contestations.

Findings revealed that, in the late 1940s, a sustained media exchange between Yoruba and Igbo intellectuals almost ended in a bloodbath, with the protagonists and antagonists stockpiling machetes to take things further.

The ethnic war of words between the two largest groups in the southern part of the country worsened during the 2023 general election when Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former Lagos state governor and the eventual winner of the 2023 election lost Lagos to Peter Obi, an Igbo from Anambra state.

This outcome of the Lagos results for the presidential poll was said to have given the impression that they can decide the governorship election and they decided to step up their campaign for the Labour Party candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, whose mother and wife are both Igbos, and who continued to play up his Igbo name, Chinedu.

The Yorubas became apprehensive about this and the proxy war resumed aggressively. During the governorship election, there were reports that Igbo electorates were barred from voting against Yoruba candidates.

The issue of Lagos is no man’s land was trended by many Igbos during the heat of the event and this prompted the Lagos state assembly to vow to use all within the law to ring to the ear of anyone who cares that Lagos is a Yoruba land.

Finally !!! We have a date …..June 23rd.#LagosIgboHangout https://t.co/ebtExNxPs7 https://t.co/eqvhtzmSWh pic.twitter.com/OMXZcEgO2K

— MPA👑 ( Navigator) (@favogbuji) May 20, 2024

Meanwhile, a proposed event tagged Lagos Igbo Hangout has sparked fresh tension between the two groups on Twitter.

On May 3, 2024, a Twitter user tweeting as @favogbuji posted that he wanted to host an Igbo hangout-themed in Lagos and asked if people would be interested.

“I want to host an Igbo themed , Hangout in lagos. Either at okota or festac ……Sunday evening !!!!!

We’d eat okpa , abacha , ofe okazi , apurapu , nkwobi , palm wine from udi , nsewa from kwale !!!!!! We’d dance to flavour , ugoccie , umuobiligbo , osadebe… Will u come ?,” the post read.

After receiving a positive response, he posted an update on the proposed event on May 9, saying; “Next month of June!!! In the ever bubbling city of lagos……an Igbo themed hangout …..The #LagosIgboHangout is coming !!!! Showcasing our rich tradition , our sumptuous meal, our beautiful women and our prideful Odogwus !!!!! #LagosIgboHangout!!! Oga di kpo kpo….”

And on May 20, he confirmed the date of the hangout to be June 23rd in another post. The post with an attached flier said; “Finally !!! We have a date …..June 23rd.”

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The Lagos Igbo Hangout which boldly appeared on the flyer was condemned by many who are mostly Yorubas saying it is giving an impression that Igbo is indigenous to Yoruba land.

Reacting @Omega@74 said; “This event must not be allowed to happen in any Yoruba land. There is nothing called Lagos Igbo in Yoruba land therefore this narrative should not be allowed to slide because if we allow it then we should prepared for d worst.Yoruba youths in Lagos?Arise &stop dis evil.”

@Onlineguru_ said; “Lagos Igbo? When did this happen? These people have chronic double personality disorder. Always needing to cling to other tribes. Needy sets of individuals! So shameless! Lagos will never be yours. That’s a fact.”

@AKakanfo wrote; “A lot of Igbos think that after sponsoring large-scale hate campaigns against Yoruba Obas in Yorùbáland, in the name of Obidient movement, they will still be getting away with their agenda as regards trying to hijack the political economy of the Southwest??? They actually think it’s all about Tinubu and that this generation of Yorubas will just ignore their dangerous agenda against the Yoruba people like the way our fathers moved on after the civil war despite the atrocities of Zik against the Yoruba people in the first republic???

“We will not forget! The era of allowing Yorùbáland to be the Guinea pig of Igbo expansionism in Yorubaland is over. The constant hate campaigns against political leaders of Southwest extraction in the Southwest are over. If you are Igbo and you hate Tinubu, Awolowo, Sanwoolu, Akintola, MKO, etc… You have no business in our politics. You cannot use your hate to determine our political economy. It is common sense.

“We are no longer going to keep quiet for one ethnicity out of hundreds of tribes living in the South West to continue to use the Southwest for their supremacist launching pad. Nigeria is a country of many nations. It is an amalgam of nations not a melting pot.

“This generation of Yorubas will do what it takes to protect Yorùbáland aggressively and intentionally. The madnesszz of 2023 elections will not happen again online and offline. There is nothing like Lagos Igbos, Igbos are resident in Lagos and Yorùbáland and their ancestral homeland is Southeast.

The Igbo users countered the Yorubas and dared them to do their worst.

@Sundaypopogbe said; “If you have step your feet around festac – town you will know there is Lagos igbo. But let just pretend as if the numbers of igbos in festac are not more than the Yorubas.”

@JubaOjuba1 said; “Igbps don’t bow to threats. If you dare us that’s when we shine best. So whoever is fanning this ember of hatred and violence, igbos don’t retreat neither do we surrender. You guys should allow this ethnic group to be. Focus on other pressing issues in Nigeria.”

However, some users were indifferent about the development but urged the government to act in time to avert any violence whether the event will be held or not.

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