Mr Corneius Ojelabi, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos State, has called on Igbos residing in the state to identify more with its development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ojelabi made the call at a meeting with coalition of Igbos in Ojo Federal Constituency led by Chief Kenneth Agwedu, on Sunday.
“Politics is about interest, and it is when the environment is conducive that your business can thrive.
“If not 90 per cent, I can say between 60 and 70 per cent of you go home once in a year. The rest of us are within this particular place, Ojo.
“This is where your children are schooling, you are part and parcel of us, which is the essence of this meeting; we need to talk and be on the same page,” the APC chairman said.
Ojelabi said that the administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu was working assiduously to improve infrastructure in business areas.
“In Ojo Federal Constituency, where Alaba International Market is situated, I, former Deputy Governor, Dr Oluranti Adebule, and chairmen of Oto-Awori, Iba, and Ojo, just engaged the special adviser on works.
“We recommended three roads to her for prompt attention.
“We gave her Mosafejo–Ilufe Road, and we explained the economic importance of that road – Osinlemo to Odan–Era and White House to pass through Oke–Ijewu to Ilogbo–Elegba.
“But in all, our performance politically is what can influence this projects,” Ojelabi said.
Giving reasons why Igbos in Ojo Federal Constituency should support APC in the 2023 elections, Ojelabi said that as the APC Chairman in Lagos State, he knew what National Assembly members were attracting, in terms of infrastructure development, to their respective constituencies.
“I am very sure that more than 80 per cent of those seated here today may not know or recognise the person representing them at the National Assembly, not to talk of approaching him to ask questions,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Rosulu Idowu, the Chairman of Ojo Local Government, called for better synergy among constituents of Ojo Federal Constituency in order to attract more infrastructure development.
“We cannot do this thing alone, we need the support of all of us here to achieve our objective.
“Our objective is that we want Ojo Federal Constituency to have a new look, we want to turn it to a better place for all of us to stay, we want to turn it to a better place for our businesses to flourish,” he said.
Idowu said that the voting pattern in the constituency had caused reduced Federal Government presence due to lack of political will by those representing Ojo Federal Constituency in the House Representatives to attract constituency projects.
“Without the Trunk C roads, whatever we are doing cannot manifest. Today, I am doing the Usman Mogaji Road. It is ongoing.
“By the time the construction is finished in about two to three months, without the Adebayo-Jakande Road being done, it is useless because you still face the same difficulty right from White House down, but if that place is done, business will flourish,” he said.
In his response, the Leader of the Igbo delegation at the meeting, Agwedu, pledged the support of his people to APC in Lagos State.
Agwedu said that Igbos in the diaspora, especially those living in Lagos, should understand the need to support those giving them a conducive environment to work.
He said that the delegation would take decisions reached at the meeting to Igbos in Ojo Federal Constituency for them to understand more, the importance of supporting APC government in Lagos State.
“We, Igbos in Lagos, are not against APC. Igbos are not the only one that live in Nigeria, we should try to learn what they call adaptation (wherever you live, you have to adapt to their culture).
“We are in Lagos, even if we have up to one million members, we are under a Yoruba leadership, and we must work with the present government of APC to make sure it wins at all levels of election,” he said.
He urged members of the delegation to go to their respective zones and units to canvass for support for APC based on what was discussed.
“We have had about four series of meetings and we have concluded to take the campaign to Igbos at the grassroots to support APC,” Agwedu said.
In his closing remarks, the Apex Leader of Ojo Federal Constituency, Alhaji Raji Olorunfunmi, recalled how the Igbos had benefitted from the progressives system of politics in Ojo.
The apex leader said that, for some decades, Igbos had been given the vice – chairmanship seat in Ojo council, noting that it was only once that an Awori had the opportunity to occupy the seat.
He urged the group to reciprocate the kind gesture by supporting APC.
“With your cooperation, we can achieve more.”
Dr Ifeanyi Osakwe, one of the Igbo leaders, described Ojelabi as a man of integrity, who would not fail in his duties.
“He will be a state chairman with a difference; those things that have not happened to APC in Oto – Awori, Iba and Ojo will now happen.
“We are going to bring the changes. The man they have made the party chairman is from us in Ojo Federal Constituency, and we will not put him to shame. We shall work with him and ensure our people also do the same.
“We have agreed, because of Ojelabi, to be part of the process. This time, take Igbos as your people and let’s start afresh with APC,” Osakwe said.
An Igbo women leader, Mrs Shallon Chinwe, in her comment, told the meeting that power always began from the grassroots, adding that Ndigbo women would be mobilised to support APC in Lagos State.
“I am promising the people of Ojo that you will see a positive change,” she said.
Also present at the meeting were Hon. Lateef Ibirogba, APC Organising Secretary, South West; Hon. Tolani Sule, Assistant General Secretary of APC in Badagry Division.
Others were Hon. Yisa Abiola-Jibril,
Chairman of Iba Local Council Development Area, Hon. Rosulu Idowu, Chairman, Ojo Local Government; and Hon. Abiodun Azeez, Vice– Chairman, Oto–LCDA, among others.