Bayo Onanuga, the spokesperson for Bola Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council, has doubled down on his ethnic slur against Igbos in Lagos, insisting the Igbos are “existential threats” to Yorubas.
Criticised for his controversial and divisive ethnocentric statement, Mr Onanuga in another tweet said “let me make myself abundantly clear: the views I express on Twitter are my personal views.
I don’t owe anyone any apology for addressing the existential threats of our people. I am after all, first of all a Yoruba, before being a Nigerian,” he added.
Earlier on Sunday, Peoples Gazette reported how Mr Onanuga in a tweet pushed outright exclusion of Nigerians of Igbo extraction from Lagos political power, marking an escalation of ethnic controversies that enveloped the governorship election of March 18.
“Let 2023 be the last time of Igbo interference in Lagos politics,” Mr Onanuga said, tweeting a photo of Peter Obi, an Igbo from Anambra State who backed Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, a Yoruba from Lagos, in the Saturday’s election. “Let there be no repeat in 2027.”
Mr Onanuga’s position on the recent political developments in Lagos runs contrary to Mr Tinubu who has sued for national coherence following his victory last month.
Festus Keyamo, another spokesperson for APC PCC, in a tweet on Sunday after Mr Onanuga’s controversial statement went viral said: “I TOTALLY deplore tribal politics. I am a product of different regions of Nigeria. I’ve NEVER in my life written or promoted one tribe over another, even in campaigns. No one should ever rile a whole tribe & this applies to all sides – North/South/East/West in Nigeria’s politics.”
For decades, Lagos, a state in Yoruba-dominated southwestern Nigeria, has played host to citizens from other parts of the country who also play active roles in its business and politics.
However, Nigerian most cosmopolitan city has been rocked by divisive ethnic tension this election season as politicians pull ethnic strings to gain an advantage.
Mr Onanuga’s statement targeted at the Igbos, which has been widely condemned by Twitter users, comes as President-elect Tinubu prepares to take over leadership of a highly polarised country.
In the February 25 presidential election, Mr Obi’s Labour Party defeated Mr Tinubu, the ruling All Progressives Congress presidential campaign, in Lagos, where Mr Tinubu was once a governor from 1999 to 2007 and held the de facto position as the godfather of all governors since then.
Though Mr Tinubu emerged winner of the presidential election after all results from all 36 states were collated and announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Obi’s victory in Lagos came as a shocker to many. The declaration of Mr Tinubu as president-elect is now being challenged at the election petition tribunal.
Saturday’s governorship election in Lagos saw APC thugs roaming the streets warning citizens who will not vote for their party to stay at home.
This followed an earlier threat by notorious Lagos thug, Musiliu ‘MC Oluomo’ Akinsanya, threatening Igbos who will not vote for the APC in the governorship election to stay at home.
Mr Onanuga’s comments came as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu appeared set to win re-election in Lagos, a victory many already condemned as coming via maximum ethnic violence unleashed on Igbo residents across the nation’s commercial capital on election day.