Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma, has met his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, over the recent demolition of some commercial structures in Lagos.
The Lagos State government had demolished some “physically distressed buildings” in the Alaba International Market.
The state government had explained that the “lives of businessmen and women within the market would be put at risk” in the event of imminent collapse.
Mr Uzodimma revealed in a Facebook post on Friday that he led a delegation of the Igbo business community in Lagos to meet with Mr Sanwo-Olu. He was accompanied by Benjamin Kalu, the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.
He described the meeting as “productive.”
“The meeting was quite productive as the governor assured that no policy or programme will ever be designed against the Igbos or any other tribe. I am delighted as he swiftly constituted a Technical Committee to resolve issues raised by our people,” he wrote on Facebook.
“On this note, I commended His Excellency, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for the audience and avowed commitment to guaranteeing continued safety for all Igbos and other ethnic nationalities in the state.
“We have sustained peaceful coexistence in our region, South-east, with other ethnic nationals, and our cohabitation across the nation should be reciprocated with peaceful coexistence; I am glad that the Governor reassured.”
Mr Uzodinma urged Igbo residents to go about their lawful businesses, “for Nigeria belongs to all of us, and together, we shall continue to build it.”
Addressing the press after the meeting, Mr Sanwo-Olu said the meeting was held to discuss primarily the recent demolition in Alaba International Market.
“There has been a lot of wrong information; all sorts of wrong communication has gone out. Our conversation here this afternoon has cleared the air,” he said.
“We have seen that. Indeed, there is a need for us to continue to further collaborate. Where wrongs have been expressed, we have corrected all of the issues and the views, and we have jointly set up a small working committee that will go around, verify and see things for ourselves and be able to put all the negative information and media reviews, put them out correctly.”
Mr Sanwo-Olu assured them that his government would always reflect equity and fairness.
The demolition of 17 shops in the market in Ojo local government area of the state has been controversial.
The market has a high population of Igbo traders.
Since the news of the demolition filtered, there have been speculations that the governor was carrying out the exercise to punish the Igbos for allegedly voting against him in the 18 March governorship election in the state.
Oby Ezekwesili, a former minister of education from Igbo-speaking Anambra State, asked the governor to publish demolition details as proof that he was not on a vengeful political mission against the Igbos in the market.
Also, the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, weighed into the matter.
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